The week ahead: Oil, gas, defence and UK interest

Petrofac, a solutions provider to the oil and gas industry, announces full year results today. The first set of results after a restructuring exercise in 2011 could see a hike in profits. Petrofac has recently been awarded an Iraqi oilfield project, building on its presence in the region.

Glencore is announcing its full-year numbers for 2011. Investors will be watching closely to see how a volatile 2011 for commodity markets will have affected earnings. As it is involved in all parts of the supply chain, earnings should be relatively smooth perhaps with a positive bias. Any indication of a raised bid for Xstrata is likely to be received well by both Xstrata and Glencore shareholders.

Meggitt announces its full-year results on Tuesday. Despite being exposed to the defence sector, an industry that has suffered from reduced government spending, some in the City believe the company is undervalued at current levels. Higher oil prices and reduced defence spending have been fairly well factored in but the firm is diversified enough to benefit from other revenue streams.

Admiral, the UK’s largest motor insurance company updates the market with full-year numbers on Wednesday. Having had a turbulent 2011, the business seems to be back on the path to recovery. Recent losses and slow policy growth in the UK detract from its strong presence in the industry. With a dividend yield of almost seven per cent, the stock is likely to appeal to both income and growth investors.

All eyes will be on the Bank of England and its interest rate announcement at 12pm. Although it is likely to remain unchanged on both interest rates and its assets purchase programme, any change in stance is likely to send the market sharply in either direction.

There is a raft of corporate earnings on Thursday as Schroders, Aviva, Wm Morrison and Old Mutual report full-year numbers.

No UK economic numbers on Friday, but traders’ attention will be focused on non-farm payroll and unemployment numbers from the US. Although market expectations are for the numbers to come in relatively unchanged from previously, investors will be looking for any signs of improvement in the world's largest economy.

Manoj Ladwa is a professional trader at ETX Capital with over 15 years industry experience. To follow Manoj’s trading journey more closely go to: