Wednesday preview: US Federal Reserve, Dixons Carphone in focus

updated: 15 December 2020 at 4:50pm Author: Alexander Bueso

(Sharecast News) - The market spotlight will shift back towards the US in the middle of the week, Brexit talks with the European Union allowing.

Rate-setters in Washington D.C. are expected to stay put on policy. However, economists at Barclays Research believe that, reflecting increased confidence in the economy, they might "alter" their guidance as to how long the Fed may continue purchasing assets.

More to the point, on this occasion, they might drop the reference to purchases continuing "over coming months".

"In December, we expect this language to be dropped in favor of qualitative guidance that ties the time frame for asset purchases to increased confidence that the economy is on the way to achieving the dual mandate."

Ahead of their announcement, at 1330 GMT, the US Department of Commerce will publish retail sales data for the month of November.

On home shores meanwhile, the focus will be on consultancy IHS Markit's Purchasing Managers' surveys for the UK's manufacturing and services sectors in December, which will be published at 0930 GMT.

Results from comparable surveys for the euro area are due out at 0900 GMT.

On the corporate side of things, Dixons Carphone first half numbers will come close on the heels of a bruising prior year performance that saw profits plummet by just over half.

Nevertheless, CMC Markets UK's Michael Hewson thinks the outlook for the consumer electrical and mobile retailer is much better, citing the good pre-Christmas period and positive news around a vaccine.

Those, he said, meant that the "outlook is much more positive than it was a couple of months ago, despite the November lockdowns."

"Since the record March lows the shares have recovered a good proportion of their lost ground year to date, but still remain 20% down on the year, however a good pre-Christmas period and the news about a vaccine means that the outlook is much more positive than it was a couple of months ago, despite the November lockdowns."

Wednesday 16 December


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