Wednesday preview: Fed minutes, Saga in the spotlight

updated: 6 April 2021 at 4:10pm Author: Alexander Bueso

(Sharecast News) - The focus in financial markets will be on the US, where the central bank will publish the minutes of its last policy meeting, even after the close of markets in London.


Economists at Barclays Research expect the minutes will largely reflect the optimism behind policymakers' latest sharply upgraded projections for economic growth.

So too nonetheless, they are expected to emphasise that the Federal Reserve wants to see actual progress towards its goals before contemplating a shift in its stance and not just "forecasted progress".

They are also expected to underscore that an "elevated" amount of slack remains in the economy, as well as still high levels of uncertainty.

In the UK meanwhile, a final reading on IHS Markit's services sector Purchasing Managers' Index for March is expected to confirm a sharp increase in activity (Preliminary: 56.8).

It will be a similar story across the Channel, where the services PMI for last month is expected to be confirmed at 48.8, up from the prior month's print of 45.7.

Further afield, rate-setters in India are set to meet to decide on monetary policy.

Foreign exchange reserve figures for March are also scheduled for release, in the People's Republic of China.



Among the corporate names that are due to update investors in the middle of the week is Saga.

In its pre-close trading update in January, the insurance and travel group guided towards a full-year underlying profit before tax - despite the challenges from Covid-19.

Since its 2014 flotation on the London Stock Exchange, the company had lurched from one crisis to another, the share price had tanked and its cruise and travel business had been hammered by the pandemic, although insurance policy sales had ticked higher, Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK pointed out.

"Fortunately given that the UK is its home market the outlook is promising for some prospect of a summer season, however the slow vaccination response in Europe may well limit the upside here, in terms of a return to normal this year."

Wednesday 07 April

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Dechra Pharmaceuticals, Evraz

QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE

Yew Grove Reit (CDI)

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Consumer Credit (US) (20:00)

Crude Oil Inventories (US) (15:30)

MBA Mortgage Applications (US) (11:00)

FINALS

Hilton Food Group, IGas Energy, Pharos Energy

AGMS

Law Debenture Corp.

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

PMI Services (09:30)

RICS Housing Market Survey (01:01)