Economic news drives quiet week for trading

Investors in highly volatile oil and exploration stocks could face surprises this week, as some small-cap firms report, but the UK market should start off quietly. Volume may pick up in the afternoon with pending home sales from the US. Given mildly disappointing existing home sales figures last week, pending home sales could also disappoint. Signs that the housing market is struggling could pressurise the Fed to consider a third tranche of quantitative easing.

Reporting: Salamander Energy, Punch Taverns, Bowleven.

Consumer confidence numbers due at 3pm will clarify how shoppers are positioned for “planned purchases” in the US. Analysts expect a slight downtick on the previous number, indicating that the US consumer is still a reluctant spender.

Reporting: Afren, Kazakhmys, Bellway and 888.

Trading will likely be quiet for the first hour as traders await UK GDP numbers at 9.30am. A fourth quarter figure of -0.2 per cent is expected, indicating the economy is still struggling to grow. MBA mortgage application numbers at 12pm will clarify the US housing market.

Reporting: JKX Oil, Evraz

Ex-dividends: Money Supermarket, BSkyB, British Land, AngloAmerican, Schroders, Prudential, and Royal Sun Alliance.

In the UK, net consumer credit and mortgage approvals are expected to improve on the previous reading, indicating mild bullishness. Traders will likely wait for US GDP and initial jobless claims numbers before committing. Market watchers will look for both readings to maintain recent trends and show signs of improvement. Anything less could see equities pull back and a flight to safety.

Reporting: Moss Bros, Nighthawk Energy, Falkland Oil & Gas and Jubilee Platinum.

A quiet end to the week doesn’t mean traders shouldn’t be trading. It’s the end of the month and first quarter, so equities will likely see above average pick up in volume as portfolio managers adjust positions.

Companies Reporting: Red Rock Resources, Enegi Oil, Xtract Energy, and Earthport.

Manoj Ladwa, professional trader at ETX Capital, is running an open long/short portfolio using his systematic trading method. To follow Manoj’s trading journey more closely go to: