The market spotlight on Wednesday was expected to be on the release of the minutes of the US central bank’s most recent policy meeting.
Worth noting, in his post-meeting presser, Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, had sounded a very hawkish note, so it would be of special interest to see if the minutes revealed a similar tone.
And with US markets set to remain closed on Thursday, in observance of Thanksgiving Day, a slew of other economic reports would be published earlier in the session.
Key among those would readings for consumer confidence at 1500 GMT, together with durable goods orders and weekly jobless claims data both at 1330 GMT.
S&P Global meanwhile was due to publish preliminary survey results for factory and services sector activity in November, at 1500 GMT.
At the same hour, the Department of Commerce would publish new home sales figures for October.
Across the Channel, all eyes would be on similar surveys for the euro area.
The factory PMI was seen slipping by four tenths of a percentage point from the month before to reach 46.0, while that for services was expected to print at 48.0, down from a reading of 48.6 in October.
It was to be a similar story in the UK with Barclays Research anticipating declines in the manufacturing and services PMIs to 46.0 from 46.2 and to 48.0 from 48.8, respectively, levels which would be indicative of a contraction in fourth quarter GDP.
Further afield, in New Zealand, rate-setters were expected to announce overnight a hike in the official cash rate from 3.50% to 4.25%.
In the background, investors would also be scanning the headlines in case of any possible leak of the exact Russian crude oil price level cap proposed by Washington.
UBS analyst Andrew Stott expects Johnson Matthey to post first half earnings before interest and taxes 4% ahead of consensus, thanks to its PM arm.
Nevertheless, for the back half of the year he had penciled in EBIT 5% beneath consensus due to cost headwinds. Nor was he expecting the sequential recovery in Catalyst Tech EBIT that consensus was.
Indeed, he expected the speciality chemicals manufacturer to lower previous full-year guidance for EBIT of £491-641m due to cost inflation and weaker demand.
In line with the above, he had only recently lowered his estimates for the company’s earnings per share in financial years 2023 and 2024 by 3% and 8%, respectively in anticipation of more sluggish demand in non-auto markets.
At the time of writing, Stott pegged the consensus EBIT forecast at of £487m.
Thursday 24 November
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