Tuesday preview: UK employment, HSBC in the spotlight

updated: 22 February 2021 at 2:46pm Author: Alexander Bueso

(Sharecast News) - The focus on Tuesday will be on the UK employment report for December which is expected to show only a moderate increase in the rate of unemployment for the three months to year-end.

Average weekly earnings on the other hand were anticipated to continue moving higher - for now at least.

To take note of, analysts at Barclays Research highlighted the ongoing "uncertainty" around furloughed workers, which they said could be expected to add the "volatility" in headline unemployment "at some point".

Stateside meanwhile, the spotlight would be on Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell's semi-annual testimony before the US Senate's banking committee.

Across the Channel, the final reading on euro area consumer prices is the main release that investors will be waiting on.

For HSBC's fourth quarter update, UBS's Jason Napier said the key for investors would be the details around the lender's anticipated strategy refresh.

Its previous plan, unveiled in February 2022, had called for return on tangible equity of 10-12% by 2022, based on a common equity tier one target of 14-15% with the payout set at 51 cents per share, but buyback frozen until 2022.

As regards its financial performance for the three months to 31 December, Napier had penciled-in a decline in pretax profit to $2.01bn.

The seasonal slowdown in markets revenues, low level in the US dollar and HIBOR rates and loan provisions were all expected to have dragged on HSBC's bottom line.

For the comparable year ago period, the lender posted a pretax profit of $4.4bn.

Although Napier highlighted the uncertainty around estimates for loan loss provisions, he added that he expected the balance sheet to remain "strong", penciling in a year-end common equity tier one ratio of 15.0%.

Dividend payouts would nevertheless be limited by the curbs imposed by the regulator, Napier said.

Tuesday 23 February


Croda International, HSBC Holdings, InterContinental Hotels Group, Conduit Holdings Limited Com Shs (DI)


Diurnal Group, Clinigen Group, Mcbride, Springfield Properties


Ediston Property Investment Company, Aberdeen Diversified Income and Growth Trust, Image Scan Holdings


Property Franchise Group


Claimant Count Rate (07:00)

Unemployment Rate (07:00)


Consumer Price Index (EU) (10:00)

House Price Index (US) (14:00)

Consumer Confidence (US) (15:00)