Tuesday preview: Fiscal policy, Antofagasta in the spotlight

updated: 16 March 2020 at 3:48pm Author: Alexander Bueso

(Sharecast News) - The focus on Tuesday may shift towards fiscal policy as investors digest the measures announced overnight in the euro area, which at least initially were met with a favourable response from some economists.


With some of Wall Street's main stock market gauges now some 30% below their most recent peaks, the spotlight will increasingly likely also be on the headlines coming out of Capitol Hill regarding possible government spending measures to help buttress the economy on that side of the Atlantic.

Some economists were anticipating a 5% drop in the annualised rate of growth in US second quarter GDP (followed by solid rebounds if the coronavirus could be reined in), but at least one top forecaster, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics, had penciled twice as fast a drop.

Across the Channel, the ZEW institute's indices of investor sentiment for Germany and the euro area in March is likely to grab the headlines, revealing big falls.

Against that backdrop, as of 0930 GMT the Office for National Statistics is set to publish UK employment data for January, which are mercifully expected to show a resilient jobs market in the run-up to the onslaught of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The rate of unemployment is expected to have held 3.8% and the year-on-year rate of growth in 'core' average hourly earnings at 3.2%.

Stateside, monthly retail sales and industrial production data for February are scheduled for release, at 1230 GMT and 1415 GMT, respectively.



Antofagasta will be in focus on Tuesday, as it delivers its full-year results.

Having already reported 2019 actuals and provided 2020 guidance on production and cash costs, the focus would be on its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, said Morgan Stanley analyst Ioannis Masvoulas.

The analyst's estimate was for 2019 EBITDA including Zaldivar of $2.39bn against $2.21bn for the year before (consensus:$2.46bn), on topline growth of 4.9% to reach $4.97bn.

Net debt meanwhile was pegged at $529m, against $596m in 2018 (consensus: $680m).

Investors were also keen to know at which level its dividend payout would be set (Morgan Stanley: 33.8 cents) and updates to guidance.

The results of its operational review were also expected.

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