Friday preview: Euro and US PMIs, Smiths Group results
(ShareCast News) - Survey data on European and US services and manufacturing industries should give a good macroeconomic steer, while for UK corporate watchers Smiths Group is the biggest name reporting.
Although seen by some as 'soft' data, purchasing managers' index surveys from Markit are widely followed as a lead indicator ahead of official data.
Data on US durable goods orders will also be of interest to some traders and economists, likewise Fedspeak from James Bullard, head of the St Louis Fed and a voting member of the rate setting committee, and dovish Charles Evans, president of the Chicago Fed, an 'alternative' member.
Following PMIs from France and Germany at 0800 and 0830 GMT, Markit published the eurozone numbers at 0900 GMT, with US figures due at 1445 GMT.
In short, eurozone services and manufacturing purchasing managers surveys are expected to continue to point to a modest slowing in the bloc's broad-based growth.
The consensus forecast points to the composite PMI slipping slightly to 55.8 in March from 56.0, with manufacturing PMI forecast to edge down from its 70-month high of 55.4 to 55.3 and services PMI retreating from its own 55.5 high to 55.3 too.
If the data proves this, it would suggest domestic demand is not really being dampened by the pick-up in inflation and looming political uncertainty.
"Following the lacklustre hard data that has followed recent PMIs, such as the mixed industrial production print which reflected a sub-consensus 0.9% month-on-month pick-up in January, we expect that the glowing sentiment that the eurozone has experienced recently will begin to subside slightly in the coming months," said HSBC.
On durable goods, the bank's economists forecast orders will have risen 1.0% in February as increased orders in the aircraft, machinery, and primary metals industries were partly offset by weaker orders of motor vehicles and parts.
The consensus is for a 1.2% rise, or 0.5% excluding transportation.
Engineer Smiths Group reports its first-half results having in its first quarter trading update said underlying revenue was down 3% compared to prior year's but kept guidance for the full year unchanged.
Previewing results, UBS forecast the revenues of £1.48bn and flat growth on a like-for-like basis, with EBITA of £253m.
"We expect the company to see a moderate pick-up in growth as the comparatives become easier and broadly flat margin progression. Portfolio change may be supportive, but may also come at a price."
Numis said currencies will provide a major tailwind in these numbers reflecting the group's July year end and 47% US dollar exposure.
"More important is the management programme to reinvigorate the group's underlying growth rates which have averaged circa 1% over the last five years," analysts said.
A smaller cap player reporting finals is construction group Henry Boot, which in January stated that it expects profit for the year to be slightly ahead of market expectations.
"Given the pre-close update, we believe that investor focus at the finals will primarily relate to current trading and outlook."
Friday March 24
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
BBA Mortgage Lending Figures (09:30)
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Durable Goods Orders (US) (12:30)
Frontier Smart Technologies Group Limited, Henry Boot, Lamprell
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Berkeley Group Holdings (The), Hollywood Bowl Group
QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
Aberdeen Diversified Income and Growth Trust , Alpha Real Trust Ltd., Brunner Inv Trust, The SME Loan Fund
RPS Group, Standard Chartered
All Asia Asset Capital Limited (DI)
FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Downing Three VCT D Share , Downing Two VCT D Share , Henderson Opportunities Trust, Hollywood Bowl Group, LPA Group