Market awaits public finance and GDP news

HIGHLIGHTS for the economic week ahead will be tomorrow’s release of UK’s public finance data, followed by the revision of the second quarter’s GDP figures on Friday.

While analysts fear there will only be a small surplus for the July finances figure – or possibly a loss – market watchers believe there will be some improvement on the preliminary GDP figure, which showed a 0.7 per cent decrease on the first quarter.

In corporate news, Amlin and Bovis Homes start the week with interim results today, followed by news tomorrow from CPP Group, Johnston Press, John Wood Group, Afren, Persimmon, Glencore International and UK Commercial Property Trust.

As well as public finances, CBI industrial trends will also be updated tomorrow.

BHP Billiton gives its final results on Wednesday, just days after the mining giant warned that worsening market conditions could lead to job cuts at its Australian coal mines. The firm cited slowing industrial activity in China, which is forcing global miners to scale back operations. Global coal output is set to shrink over the next year or two as miners grapple with a combination of low prices, weak demand and currency headwinds, and high-cost Australian operations are under particular pressure.

Carillion will also update the market, but eyes are likely to be focused on the US, where the Fed minutes are due to be released.

On Thursday drinks giant Diageo will release its final results, possibly announcing the $3bn (£1.9bn) takeover of Mexican tequila firm Jose Cuervo at the same time. The deal has been in the works for over a year. Meanwhile Aegis Group, Genel Energy, Kazakhmys, Premier Oil and Salamander Energy will all provide interim results.

Also on Thursday, the CBI retail monitor is released, alongside a raft of PMI data from Europe.

Friday’s news will be dominated by the revised GDP estimate, with most analysts expecting an upward revision. However only a massive change is likely to alter the big picture of a weak economic recovery. AGA Rangemaster Group and Good Energy Group are set to update the market on Friday.