Week ahead: Economic data and miners set to drive FTSE

Billy Bambrough
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Miners will be holding much of investors attention this week with updates expected from some of the heavy hitters (Source: Getty)

Investors will be wading through economic data this week, with the March unemployment report out on Wednesday and the latest retail sales and public finance figures due Thursday.

On Friday the FTSE 100 index was down 21.35 points, or 0.3 per cent, at 6,343.75 points by the close, broadly in line with the European market. The index dipped from its highest close of the year, set on Thursday, but remained up 2.3 per cent for the week, its biggest weekly rise since February.

The latest labour market data out Wednesday is expected to show earnings growth continuing. Growth in total pay accelerated to 2.1 per cent year-on-year in the last report with consensus predicting growth of 2.3 per cent year-on-year for March. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 5.1 per cent.

On Thursday retail sales volumes are expected to be revealed to have also been flat in March, although this would still leave them up 4.6 per cent year-on-year.

Thursday will also bring the latest public borrowing figures, predicted to have seen a year-on-year improvement in March though not by any significant margin.

On Friday the latest eurozone purchasing managers indices for manufacturing and services are expected to show an improvement in both for the month of April.

In company news miners will be holding much of investors attention with updates expected from some of the heavy hitters.

Rio Tinto this morning releases its first quarter operational review, while Wednesday brings BHP Billiton’s operational review for the nine months ended 31 March 2016.

On Thursday Anglo American will deliver its production report for the first three months of the year, and Acacia Mining will post its first quarter results.

Away from the tumultuous mining industry, and tomorrow utility cost management consultancy Utilitywise will be looking to build on its partnership with Dell announced last week to sell energy management devices when it posts its latest interim results.

Other company reports to look out for are: British gas owner Centrica with a trading update this morning; interim results from pub operator Punch Taverns on Wednesday along with first quarter results from chip-maker ARM Holdings, and third quarter results for broadcaster Sky on Thursday.