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Important information: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This is a third-party news feed and may not reflect Fidelity’s views.

Week ahead: UK inflation data in focus as markets eye rate cuts

(Sharecast News) - UK economic data will likely steal the show next week, with a barrage of leading indicators scheduled for release, including the all-important consumer price index (CPI) for December as markets continue to speculate over when the Bank of England will begin to loosen monetary policy. Due on Wednesday, the CPI is forecast to show prices gained 0.1% month-on-month after a 0.2% fall in November, though the annual rate of inflation is expected to have eased to 3.8% from 3.9%. Core inflation, meanwhile, is tipped to have slowed to 4.9% last month, down from 5.1% in November.

However, any upside surprise may temper expectations for a sooner-than-expected interest-rate cut from the Bank of England. That comes after a stronger-than-expected rebound in UK GDP in November, according to numbers released on Friday this week.

"With core inflation still lingering well above target at 5.1%, housing markets continuing to be robust, and economic data coming out above expectations, it is hard to imagine the BoE beginning an aggressive cutting cycle," said Tim San Wong, Global Capital Markets associate at Validus Risk Management.

However, economists at Oxford Economics pointed out that, looking forward, the combination of lower oil and wholesale gas prices, along with softer core price pressures, "should generate a much quicker fall in inflation than we previously anticipated".

They said: "We now think that inflation will return to the Bank of England's 2% target as soon as April. If we're right, it would mean that inflation comes in 2ppts below the BoE's latest forecast in Q2. Against this backdrop, we expect the Monetary Policy Committee to steadily back down from their hawkish rhetoric. We expect the first cut in Bank Rate to come in May, with three further 25bps cuts following before the end of the year."

On Monday, UK labour-market figures are scheduled and are forecast to show that the amount of people claiming jobless benefits increased by just 3,000 in December, after the 16,000 growth seen the month before.

Friday will see the release of UK retail sales for December, which are estimated to have rose by just 0.4%, slowing from the 1.3% growth seen in November. However, annual growth is expected to 2.1% from 0.1% the previous month.

It's another week before US earnings season really steps up a gear, with only a handful of NYSE-listed stocks due to report quarterly results. However, two heavy hitters will be publishing on Tuesday: Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

A flurry of trading updates from UK-listed names are also scheduled for next week, including PageGroup, Experian, Ocado, 888 Holdings, and AJ Bell, Currys, Dunelm, Flutter Entertainment, Hays and Sage Group.

Monday January 15

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Balance of Trade (EU) (10:00)

Industrial Production (EU) (10:00)

Wholesale Price Index (GER) (07:00)

Q4

Pagegroup

GMS

88 Energy Limited (DI), Mondi, Pantheon Resources, Strip Tinning Holdings

FINALS

Ramsdens Holdings

ANNUAL REPORT

Ramsdens Holdings

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS

Pagegroup

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Witan Investment Trust Plc

FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Leeds Building Society 13 3/8% Bearing Shares

Tuesday January 16

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

NewRiver REIT, Norcros

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Consumer Price Index (GER) (13:00)

Consumer Price Index (GER) (07:00)

Unemployment Rate (07:00)

ZEW Survey (EU) - Economic Sentiment (10:00)

ZEW Survey (GER) - Current Situation (10:00)

ZEW Survey (GER) - Economic Sentiment (10:00)

GMS

Gelion

EGMS

China Yangtze Power Co., Ltd GDR (Reg S)

AGMS

Catalyst Media Group

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS

Cairn Homes (CDI), Experian, IntegraFin Holding, Ocado Group, QinetiQ Group

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Claimant Count Rate (07:00)

Wednesday January 17

INTERIMS

Frontier Developments, Gateley (Holdings)

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Northern 2 VCT, Northern 3 VCT, Northern Venture Trust

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Business Inventories (US) (15:00)

Capacity Utilisation (US) (14:15)

Consumer Price Index (EU) (10:00)

Import and Export Price Indices (US) (13:30)

Industrial Production (US) (14:15)

MBA Mortgage Applications (US) (12:00)

Retail Sales (US) (13:30)

Retail Sales Less Autos (US) (13:30)

GMS

Orcadian Energy

FINALS

Oxford Biodynamics , Safestore Holdings

AGMS

Diploma, Kazera Global, Majedie Investments, Orcadian Energy

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS

888 Holdings (DI), Ibstock , Liontrust Asset Management, Rathbones Group

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Consumer Price Index (07:00)

Producer Price Index (07:00)

Retail Price Index (07:00)

Thursday January 18

INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Amedeo Air Four Plus Limited Red Ord NPV, Elixirr International , NB Private Equity Partners Ltd.

QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Custodian Property Income Reit, I3 Energy , JpMorgan China Growth & Income , JPMorgan Japan Small Cap Growth & Income, M Winkworth, Pollen Street

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Building Permits (US) (13:30)

Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)

Crude Oil Inventories (US) (16:00)

Current Account (EU) (09:00)

Existing Home Sales (US) (15:00)

Housing Starts (US) (13:30)

Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)

Philadelphia Fed Index (US) (13:30)

Q4

Centamin (DI)

SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE

B&M European Value Retail S.A. (DI), Property Franchise Group, Unicorn AIM VCT

AGMS

Baillie Gifford European Growth Trust , Cardiff Property, Topps Tiles

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS

AJ Bell, Bakkavor Group , C&C Group (CDI), Currys , Dunelm Group, Elementis, Flutter Entertainment (CDI), Harbour Energy , Hays, Sage Group, W.A.G Payment Solutions

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

RICS Housing Market Survey (00:01)

FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Cardiff Property, Compass Group, Dewhurst Group, Dewhurst Group 'A'NON.VTG, Diploma, Future, Gooch & Housego, Orchard Funding Group , Origin Enterprises (CDI), Premier Miton Group

Friday January 19

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Babcock International Group, Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust, Halfords Group, MS International, Speedy Hire, Vertu Motors

QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE

Real Estate Investors

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Producer Price Index (GER) (07:00)

SPECIAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Foresight Enterprise VCT

AGMS

Character Group, Focusrite

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS

4Imprint Group

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Retail Sales (07:00)

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Aeorema Communications, Northamber, Redcentric

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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