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Thursday preview: ECB, Unilever in focus

All eyes on Thursday will be on the European Central Bank’s policy meeting, its first following the conclusion of its multiannual strategy review.

Worth noting, on 11 July, ECB chief Christine Lagarde said that there would be “some interesting variations and changes.”

Also due out is a reading on euro area consumer confidence, courtesy of the European Commission, at 1500 BST.

On home shores, the main talking point for investors may be Bank of England Michael Broadbent’s speech at a webinar scheduled for 0930 BST.

Following that, at 1100 BST the Confederation of British Industry will publish the results of its Industrial Trends survey for July.

In the US meanwhile, at 1330 BST the Department of Labor will publish its weekly jobless claims figures, with existing home sales numbers for June set to follow at 1500 BST.

Further afield, in Asia, rate-setters at Bank of Indonesia will meet to decide on policy.

To take note of, Thursday is a public holiday in Japan.

For Unilever’s second quarter, UBS analyst Guillaume Delmas has penciled in 5.5% growth in the group’s underlying sales against consensus on 4.8%.

Consensus meanwhile was for first half revenues of $25.71bn, while UBS was at $26.01bn.

Looking ahead, Delmas saw full-year underlying sales growth coming in at 3.9% with operating margins on an earnings before interest and tax basis broadly flat.

Thursday 22 July

INTERIMS

Breedon Group , Centrica, Franchise Brands, Howden Joinery Group, Novolipetsk Steel GDS (Reg S), PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works GDR (Reg S), PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works GDR (Reg S), Unilever

INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Blackrock Income And Growth Investment Trust, Micro Focus International, Porvair, RM

QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE

Brunner Inv Trust

QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE

JpMorgan China Growth & Income , M Winkworth

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Continuing Claims (US) (13:30)

ECB Interest Rate (EU) (12:45)

Existing Home Sales (US) (15:00)

IFO Business Climate (GER) (09:00)

IFO Current Assessment (GER) (09:00)

IFO Expectations (GER) (09:00)

Initial Jobless Claims (US) (13:30)

Q2

Novolipetsk Steel GDS (Reg S), Unilever

FINALS

Ideagen, Mulberry Group

SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE

M Winkworth

AGMS

Big Yellow Group, Bluerock Diamonds, Bytes Technology Group , Edinburgh Inv Trust, Halma, Octopus AIM VCT, Osirium Technologies, Pennon Group, Petards Group, Providence Resources (CDI), SSE, Telecom Plus, Ukrproduct Group Ltd, Ventus 2 VCT, Ventus VCT, VP, Weiss Korea Opportunity Fund Ltd, Workspace Group

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS

AJ Bell, Daily Mail and General Trust A (Non.V), Diploma, PensionBee Group , SSE

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

DCC (CDI), Mckay Securities

FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE

Braemar Shipping Services, Castings, Cranswick, Investec, Ninety One , Pennon Group, Stenprop Limited

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