Week Ahead: UK General Election plus FOMC, ECB, Aramco IPO

Week Ahead

General Election

British voters head to the polling booths on Thursday with the result critical to the future of Brexit, the economy and by extension, UK equities and sterling. Polls have consistently shown the Conservatives are heading to a comfortable majority, but a last-ditch surge by Labour is not out of the realms of possibility. Follow our election coverage daily on XRay.

Final FOMC meet of the year

The last FOMC meeting of the year is not expected to produce any change in the fed funds rate, but it will be another chance to see how close the Fed is to further cuts having signalled a pause to its easing cycle when it cut rates for the third time in succession in October. Lately it’s made it pretty clear that it would require a significant and sustained rise in inflation to warrant a hike, whilst there have even been reports that the Fed is thinking about changing its 2% inflation target to allow inflation to run even higher.

Saudi Aramco to start trading

The bookbuilding is complete and the price has been set – trading on Aramco shares on the Tadawul is expected to start this week. After the OPEC meeting last week and following concerns about valuations, this will be the largest and most hotly anticipated IPO in history. Our Aramco Grey Market is still open for new orders.

First ECB meeting for Lagarde

The first outing for Christine Lagarde as the chief of the European Central Bank (ECB) will be a closely-watched affair. Whilst markets do not expect the Governing Council to back any changes to rates or QE, the commentary from Ms Lagarde in the press conference will be picked over in fine detail for clues about her leanings and what we can expect from the ECB over the coming years.

Corporate Diary

Dec 12th – TUI full year results
Dec 12th – Dixons Carphone interim results
Dec 12th – Adobe Q4 2019
Dec 13th – Balfour Beatty trading update

Key Economic Events

(All times GMT)
Dec 9th – Tentative – China trade balance
Dec 10th – 00:30 GMT – Australia NAB business confidence
Dec 10th – 01;30 GMT – China CPI inflation
Dec 10th – 09:30 GMT – UK GDP, manufacturing production
Dec 10th – 10:00 GMT – German ZEW economic sentiment
Dec 10th – 23:30 GMT – Australia Westpac consumer sentiment
Dec 11th – 13:30 GMT – US CPI inflation
Dec 11th – 19:00 GMT – FOMC statement, fed funds rate
Dec 11th – 19:30 GMT – FOMC press conference
Dec 12th – 08:30 GMT – Swiss National Bank policy rate
Dec 12th – 12:45 GMT – ECB interest rate, policy statement
Dec 12th – 13:30 GMT – ECB press conference
Dec 12th – All day – UK General Election
Dec 13th – 13:30 GMT – US retail sales
Dec 14th – Tentative – US Treasury Currency Report (currency manipulators report)