ALL eyes will be on the Eurozone this week with political negotiations in Cyprus presenting a furtive backdrop for the release of key EU economic sentiment indicators on Wednesday.
Six EU economic indices will be released for the trading bloc, including the keenly watched economic confidence, business climate and consumer price indices.
The outcome could push market sentiment off the trend for riskier assets seen since the turn of the year.
Stock markets have roared to record highs but data disappointments and the ongoing uncertainty in the Eurozone last week caused a slight reversal. Analysts say the trend could continue, pending the outcome in Cyprus.
“The next hurdle to overcome will be today’s deadline, imposed by the ECB, for Cyprus to present a sufficiently credible package of measures to allow the release of the bailout funds. Markets are still behaving as if an agreement can be reached,” Ian Williams at Peel Hunt said. “Eurozone economic sentiment indicators released next week are likely to echo [last week’s] grim PMI readings.”
Following the avalanche of statistical releases on the back of last week’s Budget, UK markets are set to be quieter ahead of the long Easter Bank holiday weekend, which kicks off Friday and continues until Monday.
Wednesday sees three UK economic releases – the final GDP calculation for the last quarter of 2012, along with the current account figures and total business investment for the final quarter.
Chancellor George Osborne and Office for Budget Responsibility chairman Robert Chote will also both appear before the Treasury Select Committee this week to discuss the Budget.
On the corporate front, the week begins with half year interim results expected from pollsters YouGov today. Elsewhere Afren release full year results today and DMGT provide the market with a trading update.
Tomorrow, Wolseley put out half year results while insurer Resolution and retail giant Kingfisher have full year results published. Gambling company GVC, which recently completed the acquisition of Sportingbet alongside William Hill, will put out its final results as well. Charlemagne Capital also have full year results published tomorrow.
Wednesday heralds Centamin results and construction business Henry Boot has its full year results. Icap and Topps Tiles also have trading updates out as well. Thursday sees Electrocomponents and Tate & Lyle put out trading updates and Hilton Food and Signet Jewelers publish full year results.
Markets are closed on Friday due to the Good Friday bank holiday.