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Thursday preview: MPC, Dixons Carphone in focus

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Wednesday 20 Jun 2018

Thursday preview: MPC, Dixons Carphone in focus

(Sharecast News) - The market spotlight will be on the UK tomorrow, as the Monetary Policy Committee announces its decision on rates, alongside the release of the minutes of its deliberations.
It is not easy to argue that there has been any substantial improvement in any of the multiple potential sources of uncertainty that existed at the time of its last decision on 10 May, including global trade, North Korea, Iran or Italy (in Spain - for now at least - political risks appear to have ebbed a bit) to name but a few.

Regarding the result of the Brexit negotiations, the main risk factor to the outlook, the possibility exists that the odds of a 'soft' Brexit have risen. Certainly, most market commentary at the moment appears to point in that direction.

But enough to encourage firms to keep investing?

The most recent economic data have been somewhat mixed, prompting many analysts to question the likelihood of an August hike in Bank Rate, with current market-implied odds running at about 50% - despite the weakness in the pound.

For his part, Dr. Howard Archer, the chief economic advisor to the EY Item Club, said: "We believe it is currently touch and go as to whether the Bank of England raises interest rates in August or holds off until November. There will need to be sustained clear evidence that the UK economy has improved since the first quarter for the MPC to act.

"A dire set of April manufacturing, construction and trade data looked to have raised the bar higher for an August hike, but this has been countered by evidence that the consumer has been much more active in the second quarter. Much will likely depend on how the services sector performs and how well UK consumer activity holds up."

Yet there were some observers, such as at Barclays Research, who expected no further hikes in 2018 or 2019.

On the company front meanwhile and among the companies that are set to update investors on Thursday are Dixons Carphone, Chemring and Saga.

Regarding the former, analysts at Deutsche Bank said its finals might turn out to be something of a non-event numerically-wise, given management's unexpected update on 29 May, at which they guided towards full-year headline profits before tax of £382m.

Hence, the spotlight would be on whether newly-minted boss Alex Baldock provides any further details abnout his initial actions and plans.

Even so, Deutsche Bank added that: "His more substantial update is expected in December, by which time there should be more clarity around Carphone Warehouse's negotiations with the mobile networks."

Insurance-to-holidays purveyor Saga is also due out with a trading statement. Alongside its finals, published in April, its chief said the firm was seeing "early promising signs" from investments aimed at growing its customer base.

Numis analyst Marcus Barnard expected Saga would toe a similar line on Thursday.

Barnard had Saga at 'buy' with a 180p target price.

Thursday June 21


Chemring Group


Euromoney Institutional Investor, Income & Growth VCT , Titon Holdings


Compass Group, Gooch & Housego


Brunner Inv Trust, Funding Circle SME Income Fund, Land Securities Group, Mercantile Investment Trust (The), TwentyFour Select Monthly Income Fund Limited


Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)

House Price Index (US) (14:00)

Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)

Philadelphia Fed Index (US) (13:30)


Bank Pekao SA GDS (Reg S), Transense Technologies


Dixons Carphone






Aberdeen New Thai Inv Trust, Armadale Capital, BH Macro Ltd. GBP Shares, Eden Research, EJF Investments Ltd NPV, Good Energy Group, HSS Hire Group , Impellam Group, Maistro, Mereo Biopharma Group, NetScientific , PAO TMK GDR (Reg S), PJSC Lukoil ADR, Saga , Tarsus Group, Vipera




BoE Interest Rate Decision (12:00)

Public Sector Net Borrowing (09:30)


Gamma Communications


Air Partner, Big Yellow Group, Braemar Shipping Services, Edinburgh Inv Trust, Fidelity China Special Situations , First Derivatives, Fuller Smith & Turner, ICG Enterprise Trust, KCOM Group, Majestic Wine, Mitie Group, MS International, Norcros, Northern 2 VCT, Northern 3 VCT, Octopus AIM VCT, PayPoint, ProVen Growth & Income VCT, ProVen VCT, Syncona Limited NPV, Tate & Lyle, Tex Holdings, TR Property Inv Trust, United Utilities Group, Vertu Motors, Weiss Korea Opportunity Fund Ltd, Wynnstay Properties


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