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Tuesday preview: UK employment report, ABF in the spotlight

Mon 19 April 2021 10:47 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - The market spotlight on Tuesday will be squarely on the UK and whether the February employment report yields any signs of an improving labour market.

At 0700 BST, the Office for National Statistics will release the report, which economists at Barclays Research expect will be "largely uneventful" at the headline level.

Unemployment is seen ticking up by one tenth of a percentage point to 5.1%, alongside a slowdown in growth for average weekly earnings from 4.8% over the three months to January to 4.5%.

To take note, while the country had lost approximately 700,000 jobs since the start of the pandemic, another 4.0m Britons were on furlough.

Nevertheless, the situation was expected to improve as the economy reopened.

In particular, Barclays said it would be watching the March data on job vacancies and PAYE payroll figures, which are contained in the same report, for confirmation of survey results pointing a "strong" improvement in the labour market.

Across the Channel meanwhile, the spotlight will be on the European Central Bank's Bank Lending Survey for the first quarter of 2021.

The European Union's General Affairs Council is also due to meet via video conference to analyse the state of relations with the UK, among other matters.

No major economic releases are scheduled in the US.

Further afield, rate-setters in the People's Republic of China are set to meet to decide on interest rates.

For Associated British Foods's half-year results, UBS's Olivia Townsend is forecasting that its Primark division will post sales of about £2.2bn for breakeven adjusted earnings before interest and taxes.

She also predicted that the company's net cash before lease liabilities would come in at £650m.

That would be better than what ABF had guided towards thanks to lower working capital requirements across all segments.

In any case, investors' focus would be foremost on the reopening timeline for Primark, Townsend said.

The analyst was also expecting some comment on trading at Primark's recently opened stores.

Stateside, Netflix is due to report to shareholders after the close of trading in New York.

Tuesday 20 April

INTERIMS

Associated British Foods

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Hansard Global

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

GFK Consumer Confidence (GER) (07:00)

Producer Price Index (GER) (07:00)

Q3

Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI)

FINALS

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AGMS

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TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS

Avast, City of London Investment Group

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Claimant Count Rate (07:00)

Unemployment Rate (07:00)

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