Friday preview: Global activity surveys, NatWest in the spotlight
On home shores, consensus expects that IHS Markit's so-called composite Purchasing Managers' Index, which covers both manufacturing and services, will improve a bit, from a reading of 41.2 in January to 43.0 for February.
Barclays Research is expecting all of the improvement to have taken place on the services side of the economy, thanks to small increases in mobility, although all told the situation will not have changed "materially".
Also due out are the results of the GfK consumer confidence index for February, alongside a reading on monthly retail sales and for public sector net borrowing in January.
The Confederation of British Industry's industrial trends survey is also due to be published.
It's expected to be a similar story across the Channel, with the composite PMI for the euro area projected to edge up from 47.8 to 48.0.
The slight improvement is expected to be a function of easier lockdown restrictions in Italy and receding rates of daily Covid-19 infections in Germany and Spain.
On the other side of the globe, in Japan, a reading on core consumer prices in January is scheduled for release.
For NatWest's fourth results, UBS's Jason Napier has forecast underlying profits before tax of £218 and a common equity tier one ratio of 17.7%, with the latter representing a 70 basis point drop year-on-year.
The lender's net interest margin meanwhile is expected to have slipped to 1.58% over the three months ending in December, for a 28bp decline on a year ago.
Looking out to 2021, Napier was anticipating "subdued" non interest income growth as capital market revenues normalised, but above all as capital was withdrawn from its Rates business.
Overall revenue was seen down by 5% in 2021, leaving Napier's estimate 6% below consensus at the topline level and his forecast for NatWest's bottom line 12% below.
Hence his 'neutral' stance toward the stock, despite what he termed was its "significant excess capital" and "arguably undemanding valuation".
Friday 19 February
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
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QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
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INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
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Consumer Price Index (EU) (10:00)
Current Account (EU) (09:00)
Existing Home Sales (US) (09:00)
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GFK Consumer Confidence (00:01)
Retail Sales (07:00)
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