Next week will see holiday shortened trading on both sides of the Atlantic. Although the marketīs moves are expected to be limited, given that most traders will be away on vacation, markets will still be keeping an eye on the US fiscal debate which - for some economists - hasnīt even yet begun to rage on Capitol Hill.
This past weekīs events seem to point to a very high risk that the country will begin to slide down the fiscal cliff come January 1st 2013. Nevertheless, it must be kept in mind that the automatic spending cuts due to go into effect next year -unless an agreement is reached - will only do so gradually. That means that any agreement reached in the first quarter would still see the United States avoid the worst of the 'fiscal-cliff.' Even so, the reaction of the markets remains to be seen, although they have held up well so far.
Against that backdrop, the most important economic figures will be released Stateside, on Thursday and Friday. They will bring the latest numbers on new home sales on Thursday and the Chicago PMI on Friday.
According to Credit Suisse, the latter should show that manufacturing activity is more likely t to experience continued weak growth rather than to fall into outright contraction.
No significant data releases are expected in the United Kingdom.
Over on the Continent, the last two days of the week will also see a barrage of economic statistics out on France.
Investors will also attempt to gauge the potential implications of Italian Prime Minister Mario Montiīs announcement that he will not be seeking to run in the next elections.
Monday December 24
FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Albemarle & Bond Holdings, Alternative Networks, Cambria Automobiles, Jelf Group, Topps Tiles
INTERIM EX-DIVDIEND DATE
Acal, BT Group, Dart Group, Ensor Holdings, F&C Global Smaller Companies, RPC Group
QUARTERLY EX-DIVDIEND DATE
British Assets Trust
Thursday December 28
Leaf Clean Energy Co (DI), Peninsular Gold Ltd.
QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Yamana Gold Inc.
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
BBA Mortgage Lending Figures (09:30)
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
M3 Money Supply (EU) (09:00), Consumer confidence (France) (06:45), Business confidence (Italy) (08:00), Weekly initial unemployment claims (US) (13:30), New Home sales (US) (15:00), Conference Board consumer confidence (US) (15:00)
Friday DECEMBER 29
Cleardebt Group, Gem BioFuels , Mobile Streams
Diamond Circle Capital
Finsbury Growth & Income Trust
FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
GCP Infrastructure Investments Ltd
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
City of London Investment Group, Energy Technique, Helical Bar, Investec, Plastics Capital, Rensburg AIM VCT
SPECIAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Canadian General Investments Ltd. , Carnival
QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE
Bank of America Corp., F&C Commercial Property Trust Ltd.
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
International Reserves (EU) (11:00), Final GDP (France) (06:45), Household consumption (France) (06:45), Retail sales (Spain) (07:00), Pending Homes Sales (US) (15:00), Chicago PMI (US) (15:00)
Datafeed and UK data supplied by NETbuilder and Interactive Data.
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