House builders’ reports will be corporate focus - London Report

THE EMERGENCY Budget on Wednesday will see chancellor George Osborne pressing ahead with major cuts to welfare and government departmental spending.

However, economists have said that the Budget is unlikely to bring with it any major change in economic policy.

Instead, the main focus of Osborne’s speech on Wednesday will be around the £12bn of welfare cuts that were promised in the Conservative election manifesto.

The cuts are to include reducing the benefit cap from £26,000 to £23,000, the removal of subsidies for social housing, and ending inheritance tax for couples on houses worth up to £1m.

Tomorrow sees the Competition and Markets Authority publishing its preliminary findings on the UK energy market.

The watchdog is expected to blast rival regulator Ofgem for failures in promoting competition in the sector.

On Thursday, the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee will reveal its latest decision on interest rates.

While an increase in the rate could be approaching, it is widely expected to be maintained at 0.5 per cent this month.

And Friday sees data published on the trade balance – the difference in value between goods and services exported out of the UK and those imported into the UK.

All eyes will be on Greece this week, as the dust settles following yesterday’s referendum. Analysts were last night predicting a strong jolt to equity markets after the Greek people voted “no” to proposed bailout terms.

Meanwhile, on the corporate calendar, UK housebuilders are much in focus this week as trading statements from members of the sector come through.

Chris Beauchamp, market analyst at IG Group said: “The recent sell-off has seen the steadily-rising trend in share prices in the sector come to a halt, but further good news could start a round of fresh enthusiasm.”

Bovis Homes will report today, and Marks and Spencer will update the market tomorrow.

Galliford Try is releasing numbers on Wednesday, while Thursday sees a bumper day of results with Ashmore Group, Barratt, Centamin, Dunelm, Hays and Associated British Foods all publishing financial reports.