The Week Ahead: Theresa May to trigger Article 50

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On Wednesday UK prime minister Theresa May is scheduled to launch the UK’s two-year exit from the European Union by triggering Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon.

Fund Strategy looks at the key events shaping the week ahead and what to expect.

Monday 27 March

  • UK Financial Policy Committee (press statement)

Tuesday 28 March

  • United Utilities (Q4 trading update)

The Share Centre investment research analyst Graham Spooner says:”Investors will be anticipating the normal trading in line with expectations. There may also be a comment on electricity prices.

“Defensive stocks underperformed in the latter part of 2016, as the market post Trump concentrated on more growth areas and the potential for rising interest rates.

“However, this year the shares have been trending higher and are closing in on an all-time high. Currently the prospective yield is around 4 per cent.”

  • Wolseley (Q2 results)

Spooner says:”The share price has moved higher since the US election on hopes for a boost to construction industry. Wolseley is highly geared to the US housing sector, where around 65 per cent of its revenues and three-quarters of its trading profit are generated.

“Followers of the company will be keen to hear the group’s outlook regarding the region, along with the more subdued UK and Nordic markets. Wolseley’s focus remains on improving customer service, maintaining market share and margins, cutting costs and cash generation.”

Wednesday 29 March

  • Triggering of Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon in the UK

More than nine months after the UK voted to leave the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50, which gives the country two years to negotiate its new relationship with 27-member union.

Thursday 30 March

  • US GDP figures – Q4 (third estimate)
  • TUI (Q2 trading update)

Spooner says:”The market will be interested to see how summer bookings are shaping up in this update from global tourism group TUI. In February the company reported a solid start to the year with a healthy level of advance bookings for the summer. Investors will also be looking out for any comments on expectations for a 10 per cent increase in annual earnings this year, as previously stated, and an update on the discussions with Etihad Airways about a joint venture to create a new airline.”

Friday 31 March

  • Balance of payments for the UK: October to December and annual 2016 – Office for National Statistics
  • UK index of services, January – Office for National Statistics
  • EU to issue draft guidelines on Brexit negotiations