The Week Ahead: US GDP, Opec and PMI data


This week Opec is meeting in Austria to discuss what is next for oil output. Meanwhile, the latest PMI data for Japan, China, UK, EU and the US will be published on Friday.

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

Monday 28 November

  • Keller (Q3 results)

Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre says: “Since the last trading update, which was a profits warning, the group’s share price has climbed about 20 per cent. The increase was no doubt boosted by the group’s heavy exposure to the US where the Trump victory could result in significant infrastructure spending where trading has already been robust.

“It is the firm’s Canadian and Asia Pacific businesses where trading conditions have been tough and investors will be keen on following developments here. Keller recently won a major contract in South Africa which should add to its record order book and investors will be looking for indications of what else is in the pipeline.”

Tuesday 29 November

  • US Gross Domestic Product (second estimate) Q3 – 2016
  • RPC (Q2 results)

Spooner says: “These results come only a week after reports that RPC has bid for a unit of US packaging giant WestRock, which was recently put up for sale. The group’s previous trading update in September was very upbeat with RPC saying that revenues and adjusted operating profits in the first half were expected to be significantly up on last year.

“That was attributed mainly to a mixture of organic growth and strong performances from the recently-acquired GCS and British Polythene. Any further guidance on the expected level of cost savings from these deals will also be of interest to investors.”

Wednesday 30 November

  • Bank of England Financial Stability report
  • Bank stress tests results
  • Opec summit in Vienna

AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says: “As oil hovers back near the $50 mark, investors will be looking to see if the oil producers’ group can agree on the output cuts which were discussed in Algeria back in September. Opec’s record on reaching an agreement is poor and on sticking to any agreement is even worse.

“Also note that US oil inventories, US drilling rig activity and international drilling rig activity are all rising again after sharp dips in the autumn and spring respectively, although the big quoted oil groups all continue to bear down on capital and operating expenditure.”

Thursday 1 December

  • Manufacturing purchasing managers indices from Japan, China, UK, EU and the US
  • EU unemployment, October – Eurostat

Friday 2 December

  • Berkeley (interim results)

Mould says: “At around £25, the shares are way down from their highs of nearly £38. The slump can be blamed on fears that there are signs of a cooling in the high-end property market in London and the South East, where Berkeley is primarily active. This is being blamed on concerns over what Brexit might mean and also the increases to Stamp Duty Land Tax pushed through by George Osborne just before he lost his job as Chancellor of the Exchequer.”

The key numbers to watch for Berkeley are the trend in reservations, the trend in pricing and earnings, says Mould.

He says: “The company has a target of delivering £2bn in pre-tax profit in the three years to April 2018 and plans to return £10 to shareholders in dividends over the next five years.”

  • UK construction industry sentiment survey
  • US monthly non-farm payroll, unemployment and wage growth figures