View our top seven stories to look out for this week (11-15 December), plus our key company earnings schedule.

The week ahead: Fed meeting, BoE announcement & ECB meeting

Our Market Analysts look ahead to updates from the Federal Reserve, Bank of England and the European Central Bank, and also discuss the potential impact on the pound, euro and FTSE 100.

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US hurricane clean-up helps Ashtead clean up
Tuesday: Following expectations that President Trump would augur an infrastructure bonanza, Ashtead has been one of the big winners this year due to its US presence and position as a supplier of tools, plant and equipment in one of its biggest markets. The company announced that the recent hurricane season in the US is also likely to lift profit, as the clean-up has increased demand for products such as dehumidifiers, pumps and power generators.

What will the latest UK data reveal?
Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: It’s a big week for UK data as the Bank of England announcement (Thu) is set to leave rates unchanged one month after raising them back to 0.5%. The latest inflation data (Tue) could prompt a letter from Bank of England governor Mark Carney to the chancellor, explaining why CPI is more than 1% above target. Signs of accelerating wages (Wed) could also suggest that the consumer squeeze may be easing. 

Can Dixons Carphone share price recover?
Wednesday: At its most recent trading update, Dixons Carphone shares dropped 30% after management warned that full-year profit would come in about 20% below expectations. The company said part of the reason was that the weaker pound had made handsets more expensive, and EU roaming legislation changes have also hit profit. Management will be hoping that the launch of new higher-spec phones from Samsung and Apple will see demand pick up in the second part of the year, and that this week’s numbers come in above market expectations. 

Will the ECB meeting shed light on its monetary policy?
Thursday: We’re unlikely to see too much in the way of change here, but splits between the hawks and doves could start to show signs of widening in the light of recent strong economic data. The recent decision to taper in 2018 until year end still seems much too slow given current growth rates. Could there be a dissenting voice arguing for a quicker pullback?

Retail sales to be the focus of China data
Thursday: Recent economic data has shown that the Chinese economy is growing at a decent clip, though we have seen some weakness in recent manufacturing data. Of more interest will be retail sales, where we are likely to see the so-called ’singles day’ effect. This could deliver a significant boost to the Chinese economy in these November numbers. 

What’s the next stage for Brexit?
Friday: This week’s EU Summit could be a key milestone in smoothing the way to the next stage of Brexit talks. That is if the Irish border issue can be overcome to allow a timetable for trade talks to be laid out.

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Index dividend schedule

If you trade indices, dividend payments from an index's constituent shares can result in either a credit or debit to your account. 
View this week's indices dividend drop points table

Monday 11 DecemberResults
Hollywood Bowl (UK)Full-year
Investors Real Estate Trust (US)Q2 
KMG Chemicals (US)Q1
Photo-Me International (UK)Half-year
Polar Capital Holdings (UK)Half-year
Tuesday 12 DecemberResults
Ashtead (UK)Half-year
Carpetright (UK)Half-year
Civitas Solutions (US)Q4
Panhandle Oil and Gas (US)Q4
RMR Group (US)Q4
VeriFone Systems (US)Q4
Wednesday 13 DecemberResults
ABM Industries (US)Q4
Aspen Group (US)Q2
Dixons Carphone (UK)Half-year
Lowland Investment Company (UK)Full-year
Nordson (US)Q4
Pier 1 Imports (US)Q3
Purplebricks Group (UK)Half-year
TUI Travel (UK)Full-year
Thursday 14 DecemberResults
Adobe Systems (US)Q4
Costco Wholesale (US)Q1 
F&C Global Smaller Companies (UK)Half-year
Finsbury Growth & Income Trust (UK)Full-year
Jabil (US)Q1
Sports Direct International (UK)Half-year
Tungsten (UK)Half-year
Friday 15 DecemberResults
No major US or UK companies reporting 

Company announcements are subject to change. All the events listed above were correct at the time of writing.

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