The Week Ahead: Will the Fed hike rates this week?


Is the US Federal Reserve going to announce its latest decision on interest rates or just drop hints about further increases later in the year?

Meanwhile, certain FTSE 100 companies – namely Sainsbury’s and Prudential – will be publishing financial results.

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

Monday 13 February

  • Clarkson (Q4 results)

The Share Centre investment research analyst Graham Spooner says: “The company is a leading provider of specialist shipping services and has been growing its market share, as a result of its full-service client offering.

“However, shipping is a cyclical business and currently the outlook for global shipping markets remains uncertain. Investors will be concentrating on the group’s outlook and, with the share price hovering close to a 12-month high, hoping for some positive news.”

Tuesday 14 February

  • Prudential (Q4 results)

Spooner says: “We should see a continuation of the momentum we saw during the nine-month interim report where the firm reported a 19 per cent increase in new business profit as the group continues to benefit from opportunities in the UK, US and Asian markets.

“Investors will lookout for the Solvency II ratio along with the total funds under management that its M&G business pulls in. Investors should expect the dividend to rise in the region of about 5 per cent.”

Wednesday 15 February

  • Federal Open Market Committee two-day meeting, March 14-15 – US Federal Reserve

Thursday 16 February

  • Sainsbury (Q4 trading update)

Spooner says: “Given the fierceness of competition in the sector, Sainsbury continues to perform relatively well with market share at 16.5 per cent. Investors will be keen to hear an update on the recent Home Retail Group acquisition and that Sainsbury remains on track with its cost savings.

“Other areas to concentrate on will be the online performance and convenience stores operations. The share price has been trending higher since last July as concerns lessen over the possible consequences of Brexit.”

  •  Monetary Policy Summary and minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting ending on 15 March 2017 – Bank of England
  •  EU inflation, February – Office for National Statistics

Friday 17 February

  • EU Foreign Trade Statistics
  • US industrial production figures