Banks to report as BT is likely to reveal growth - London Report

THIS WEEK sees a number of banks reporting, with four of the UK’s five biggest lenders due to reveal third-quarter results.

Lloyds and Standard Chartered report tomorrow. With Lloyds the focus is expected to be on 9,000 job cuts and a string of branch closures.

Standard Chartered’s execs have been under pressure this year. After seeing a steep fall in first-half profits, chief executive Peter Sands promised a rise at the end of 2014.

Barclays, reporting on Thursday, should reveal increasing evidence of its global retreat under chief executive Antony Jenkins after the bank sold its Spanish arm.

Ending the week, on Friday, RBS could reveal that its operating profits have hit a post-crisis high, boosting hopes that the government could sell off its 80 per cent stake sooner rather than later.

Tomorrow, Utilitywise gives its full-year results. BP is due to update investors on how the dwindling price of Brent crude is affecting its business on Tuesday, followed on Thursday by results from fellow oil major Royal Dutch Shell.

Analysts expect BP’s profits to total just under $3bn (£1.9bn), or one-fifth lower than last year.

The company, which struck oil in the North Sea last week, could also give investors more details of its exploration spending in the face of falling fuel prices.

On Wednesday, Antofagasta, John­ston Press, Next, Stagecoach and Standard Life issue trading updates while the Bank of England issues its money and credit report.

Thursday sees interim reports from BT, First Quantum Minerals, Millennium & Copthorne, Smith & Nephew and Genel. There will be trading updates from Afren, Countrywide, Cairn, Henderson, Kazakhmys, National Express, Aviva and St James’s Place.

The resurgence of BT will probably continue when it announces interim results. The telecoms giant has convinced many investors that its big money investments in sports broadcasting and fibre-optic network upgrades are delivering growth as promised.

Forecasts were raised at full year results and there has been no sign of a slowdown in demand for football and superfast broadband.

On Friday there will be interim results from IAG and trading updates from Direct Line, Beresden and advertising giant WPP.