Monday 15 August
- – First-half results from Phoenix Group and Thungela Resources
- – Rightmove UK house price index
- – US NAHB housebuilding industry survey
- – In the Middle East, quarterly results from Saudi Aramco
- – In Asia, quarterly results from TenCent Music
Tuesday 16 August
- – Full year results from BHP
In its full-year operational review, Australian mining giant BHP revealed a 9% rise in copper prices and 13% fall in iron ore, with the two making up roughly 80% of revenue, Hargreaves Lansdown equity research assistant Charlie Williams said.
“Coupled with a sharp rise in the price of coal, analysts are expecting operating profit to rise over $4bn to $35bn, year on year. Although promising, it will be intriguing to see how management expect the new year to pan out, given the recent price volatility and early signs of a global recession.”
He continued: “Investors will be watching for how well dividends have fared. With peers like Rio Tinto announcing impressive, but not record-breaking dividends this year, eyes will be focused on how much profit BHP will return to shareholders.”
AJ Bell equity analyst Danni Hewson added that BHP’s shares “are a touch higher than a year ago, but they stand below their recent peaks thanks to concerns over a global economic slowdown in the face of rising inflation and higher interest rates”.
“BHP is no longer a member of the FTSE 100 after its decision to relocate its primary listing to Sydney, but its shares still trade in the UK. The firm has five main product areas. They are iron ore, copper, coal (both metallurgical and energy), nickel and potash. The petroleum business was merged with another Aussie firm, Woodside, this year and the Woodside shares that BHP got in payment were immediately distributed to shareholders.”
- – Trading statement from Watches of Switzerland
- – UK unemployment, job vacancy and wage growth figures
AJ Bell’s Hewson said: “The unemployment rate in the three months to May was 3.8%, down from 3.9% in the prior period. The employment rate was 75.9%, still just a fraction below the pre-pandemic peaks. Job vacancies stood at 1.3 million, well above where they stood before Covid-19 struck in March 2020.
“That represented a gain of just under 7,000 over the three-month period, but it did reflect the first month-on-month drop in almost two years, so keep an eye on that.
“That all looks very encouraging given the gloomy tone of most economic commentary. However, we must remember that employment data is backward-looking, given the lead times between firms feeling confident enough to hire and then go through the lengthy process of finding the right candidate.”
She added: “If we do start to see a softening of the jobs market – and the quoted recruitment consultants have yet to flag any such trend – you might perhaps expect to see it in the vacancy figure first. Indeed, some economists are arguing that any downturn could be a shallow one as the huge vacancies figure will drop first before firms get around to letting go of any staff.
“Attention will then switch to wages. After all, if job vacancies are high and unemployment is low then firms will have to compete to attract and retain talent, which could then see workers get better terms and conditions. In May, wages surged 6.2% year-on-year, including bonuses.”
- – US building permits and new housing starts
- – US industrial production and capacity utilisation
- – In Europe, quarterly results from Pandora
- – In the US, quarterly results from Walmart, Home Depot, Agilent and Wolfspeed
Wednesday 17 August
- – First-half results from Balfour Beatty, Essentra, Persimmon and Hochschild Mining
“News has already been received from Persimmon that revenues are slightly down from last year as the group struggled to meet home delivery expectations in the first half of 2022,” Hargreaves Lansdown’s Williams said.
“That said, a 4% rise in the group’s average selling price has more than offset cost inflation. Close attention will be paid to the impact it’s had on profits and if management expects this trend to continue.
“Persimmon, much like its peers, faces a multitude of issues around labour shortages and supply chain constraints, adding pressure to margins. The in-house materials business may alleviate some of this pain, but investors should be focused on what affect this has had, if any, and if management expect headwinds to continue.
“Dividends will also be at the forefront of investors’ minds. With an impressive prospective dividend yield of 12.3%, Markets clearly aren’t convinced the current pay-out levels can be maintained, so cash generation will be watched closely.”
- – Interest rate decision from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand
- – UK inflation figures
If the job and wage figure expectations outlined above are the good news, then inflation is the bad, as it “continues to outpace pay growth, so workers are worse off in real terms”, said AJ Bell’s Hewson.
“We will find out by how much when the inflation figures for July are released. In June, the annual increase in the consumer price index was 9.4%, the highest rate in 40 years and more than four-and-a-half times above the Bank of England’s 2% target.”
- – US retail sales
- – US oil inventories
- – In Asia, quarterly results from Tencent, JD.com and Hong Kong Exchanges
- – In Europe, quarterly results from Coloplast and Carlsberg
- – In the US, quarterly results from Cisco, Analog Devices and Target
Thursday 18 August
- – First-half results from Marshalls, Rank and AO World
- – EU inflation data
- – German ZEW industrial sentiment survey
- – US existing homes sales
- – In Asia, quarterly results from Geely Automotive
- – In the US, quarterly results from Estee Lauder, Applied Materials and Tapestry
Friday 19 August
- – First-half results from Kingspan
- – UK retail sales
- – UK Government borrowing figures
- – In Asia, quarterly results from Aussie gold miner Newcrest Mining
- – In the US, quarterly results from Deere