THE WEEK AHEAD

COMPANY NEWS
Barclays announces today. It traces its origins back to 1690, when John Freame and Thomas Gould traded as goldsmith bankers in Lombard Street. Eagle eyes await results.

● Imperial Tobacco announces tomorrow. Its brands include Davidoff, West, Gauloises Blondes, Montecristo and Drum. It was created in 1901 through the amalgamation of thirteen British tobacco and cigarette companies.

● On Wednesday, Randgold Resources, a gold mining and exploration company focused in Africa, will be hoping to announce striking results.

● Thursday is a big day for announcements. Asos, Invensys, Man Group, Shanks, Tate & Lyle and Unilever all announce. BT and Cable & Wireless Communications also announce and will be hoping to communicate good results to shareholders.

● Friday will also see a lot of UK-listed company results. General Cable, Lancashire Holdings, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, Royal Bank of Scotland, Smith & Nephew and Spirent Communications all announce. International Airline Group also announces. IAG was formed in January 2011 by the merger of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia.

ECONOMICS
● Today, Canada releases its third quarter GDP statistics, while the UK’s third quarter GDP is released tomorrow. The Reserve Bank of Australia will also release its decision on interest rates tomorrow. At 4.75 per cent, the central bank is coming under pressure to bring them down under its current rate.

● On Wednesday, the Fed minutes from the previous meeting will be released and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve announce on interest rates. Chairman Ben Bernanke will give a press conference afterwards. The European Central Bank will decide on rates on Thursday, while Friday will see those all-important non-farm payrolls.

POLITICAL NEWS
● Today, Bulgaria votes on a draft to bring down its budget deficit to 1.35 per cent of GDP next year. Tomorrow, EU government experts are meeting to debate a proposal to rank fuels on how “green” they are. With Europe’s economy on the rocks, this is just what Europe’s grand bureaucracy should be doing.

● Leaders of the G20 countries will meet for a summit in Cannes on Thursday and Friday. An appropriate location, as the debt debacle would have all the makings of a good disaster movie and a leading man in Silvio Berlusconi and woman in Angela Merkel. Don’t expect the Hollywood happy ending though.