Thursday preview: HSBC, Shell on tap; services PMI seen slipping
(ShareCast News) - Thursday is gearing up to a busy day on both the corporate and macroeconomic fronts, with results due from oil giant Shell and banking behemoth HSBC.
On the data front, net lending to individuals, consumer credit, mortgage approvals and Markit's services purchasing managers' index are all due at 0930 BST.
HSBC pointed out that the services PMI made a surprise recovery in March, jumping nearly two points to 55.0. However, with inflation still rising and domestic demand starting to soften, it doesn't see this strength as particularly sustainable and reckons the index will have fallen back around half a point in April.
In addition, the bank said the consumer cycle has peaked for now, and as a result, it expects weaker consumer credit and mortgage growth in the March release. Mortgage approvals unexpectedly fell 1.2% month-on-month in February, indicating perhaps a bigger hit to demand in the housing market than many had anticipated. "Price growth weakness also points to a softer market," HSBC said.
On the corporate side, first-quarter results from Inmarsat, Shell, and HSBC, with Morrisons, RSA Insurance, and Next scheduled to release trading updates.
UBS said oil giant Shell typically displays a high degree of seasonality in the way it books its costs, often with the first quarter much lighter than the fourth. "We'd expect sequential earnings to benefit from that effect in the two Upstream segments, in addition to the lagged recovery in international gas prices in IG.
"In the Downstream, like BP Shell had a soft quarter for oil trading and we anticipate some recovery in sequential results as a consequence while we also forecast a strong contribution from Chemicals as margins and utilisation rates both should have worked to Shell's advantage."
It added that its forecast of $8.9bn of operating cashflow is not out of line with the past two quarters although it would represent a major improvement year-on-year where operating cashflow was depressed by merger linked outflows.
Barclays said first-quarter results from HSBC - whose share price has been influenced by FX recently - are likely to flag a lack of top-line momentum but capacity to return capital to shareholders.
"We expect revenue trends to be the key area of focus having been an area of disappointment at Q4 both in terms of performance and outlook. We expect some continued pressure on net interest income so investment banking performance in the quarter will be key.
"Offsetting this revenue pressure, we expect costs to reduce and impairments to stay low. We expect HSBC to maintain a strong CET1 ratio at 13.5% and will look for any indication of further share buybacks this year."
Thursday 04 May
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Volution Group (WI)
INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE
AB Dynamics, BlackRock Greater Europe Inv Trust, British Smaller Companies VCT, James Halstead, Pembroke Vct, Pembroke Vct B, Smart (J) & Co., Swallowfield, Symphony International Holdings Ltd.
QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE
JPMorgan Claverhouse Inv Trust, SQN Asset Finance Income Fund Limited, The SME Loan Fund, Toro Limited , Unilever
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Balance of Trade (US) (13:30)
Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)
Retail Sales (EU) (09:30)
Johnson Service Group
SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Derwent London, EP Global Opportunities Trust, Henderson Group, Volga Gas
Computacenter, Elecosoft, GKN, GlaxoSmithKline, Gresham Technologies, IMI, Inmarsat, Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd (Singapore Reg), Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd. (Singapore), Johnson Service Group, Ladbrokes Coral Group, Moneysupermarket.com Group, Morgan Sindall Group, Reckitt Benckiser Group, Rolls-Royce Holdings, Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited (DI), St James's Place, Stadium Group, Trinity Mirror
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets, Purplebricks Group, RSA Insurance Group
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Consumer Credit (09:30)
M4 Money Supply (09:30)
Mortgage Approvals (09:30)
FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
AFH Financial Group , Amiad Water Systems Ltd, British American Tobacco, Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group, Miton Group, Schroders, Schroders (Non-Voting), SEGRO, Ultra Electronics Holdings
FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Acacia Mining, Card Factory, Cello Group, Coats Group, Croda International, Derwent London, Dunedin Income Growth Inv Trust, Ebiquity, Empresaria Group, EP Global Opportunities Trust, F&C Private Equity Trust, Ferrexpo, H&T Group, Harworth Group, Hastings Group Holdings , Henderson Group, Highcroft Investment, Holders Technology, InterContinental Hotels Group, JRP Group, Kingfisher, London Stock Exchange Group, Lookers, Luceco , Maven Income & Growth VCT, McColl's Retail Group , Microgen, Morgan Advanced Materials , Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings) , Norsk Hydro ASA, Playtech, Polymetal International, Rightmove, SafeCharge International Group Limited (DI), Servelec Group , SimiGon Ltd. (DI), SThree, Stock Spirits Group , Total Produce, Volga Gas
Inmarsat, Royal Dutch Shell 'A', Royal Dutch Shell 'B'