FTSE 100 hoping for festive cheer to follow European Central Bank's Mario Draghi - London Report

Mario Draghi disappointed markets last week (Source: Getty)
Following widespread market disappointment last week after the European Central Bank came in at below expectations with its interest rates and monetary easing policy, this week the big macro-economic numbers to look out for are coming from China

We’ll get the country’s trade balance and then consumer price inflation figures tomorrow.

Back here in Britain the Bank of England’s latest monetary policy meeting will be required reading for forex traders

Company earnings to watch out for this week include FTSE 250 transport operator Stagecoach with its half year release on Wednesday.

The company is hoping to land a couple more rail franchises and investors will be keeping an eye out for any more earnings downgrades on the back of market conditions.

Also on Wednesday, industrial equipment rental firm Ashtead, is reporting its second quarter and is tipped to have done well, with analysts forecasting a 20 per cent increase in pre-tax profit to around £176m.

Full year numbers from travel operator TUI should be interesting on Thursday, due to the knock on effects of terror attacks the company has had to deal with in some of its key markets.

The company’s share price has been struggling all year following repeated setbacks.

Thursday also sees a trading statement from Costa Coffee owner Whitbread. The firm will be looking to reassure investors following some negative broker comments about the hotel business.

Online grocer Ocado will mean Thursday is an exceptionally busy day for analysts, with its fourth quarter trading statement.

Many are expecting Ocado to branch out and begin selling its services to third parties, perhaps in the US, although it’s not seen as particularly likely this time.

James Anstead, analyst at Barclays, said: “Although the market is waiting for an international deal before the end of 2015, as Ocado stated that it hoped to be able to deliver, there is no particular reason to expect any news with this trading statement.”

Budget retailer Sports Direct will round off the day and investors will be looking for confirmation on Sports Direct’s full-year profit guidance of £420m, as well as indications of how newer large format stores are working out.

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