Traders await BP results, interest rate
Market watch top headlines
LONDON, Feb 1 AFP
February 02 2013, 07:20AM
London investors will next week focus on the latest results from blue-chip heavyweights including BP and GlaxoSmithKline, as well as the Bank of England's latest monetary policy meeting.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies finished at 6,347.24 points on Friday, up almost one per cent from a week earlier.
On the corporate results front, British energy giant BP will publish annual results on Tuesday, as the group continues to grapple with fallout from the 2010 oil spill disaster. It agreed to a US payout of $US4 billion ($A3.85 billion) on Tuesday.
"A final settlement with the US Department of Justice in relation to its Gulf of Mexico spill continues to overshadow investment prospects on the earnings front," noted analyst Keith Bowman at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers.
He added: "Following a recent terrorist attack in Algeria, the group's future in north Africa may generate management comment, whilst the timetable and timeliness for its TNK BP stake sale may also prove a focus."
The results are due three weeks after a deadly Islamist attack on the BP-operated In Amenas gas facility in Algeria, in a hostage-taking siege that ended with the deaths of almost 40 captives, mostly foreigners.
Elsewhere next week, other companies publishing earnings include energy firm BG Group, drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline and mobile phone giant Vodafone.
Next Thursday, meanwhile, the Bank of England (BoE) will announce the outcome of its latest monetary policy gathering, with all eyes on its quantitative easing plans after the economy sank into a new downturn in the fourth quarter of 2012.
On the same day, the BoE's incoming governor Mark Carney will face questions before parliament's Treasury Committee panel of MPs.
Rates have stood at a record low level of 0.50 per cent for almost four years, in which time the BoE has pumped 375 billion of new cash into the economy under its stimulus program.
Britain's economy shrank 0.3 per cent in the final quarter of 2012 and recorded zero growth for the year as a whole, official data last week, placing the country on the brink of a "triple dip" recession.