All eyes will continue to be trained on Westminster at the end of the week.
Following Parliament's decision overnight not to take back control of the withdrawal process, either by supporting a second referendum or by permitting so-called indicative votes, the latter by just two votes, investors will be trying to assess whether or not a third bid by the Prime Minister to push her proposal through will succeed.

In the absence of a second referendum in order to learn what kind of Brexit Britons really wanted, some analysts continued to believe that it was only a question of time before May was forced to alter the Political Declaration so as to offer a softer form of Brexit, which might allow her to clinch the votes that she needed.

Nevertheless, and as the deputy chair of the ERG had stressed on Wednesday night, legally the default position of the country – unless a deal was agreed – was to leave the European Union on 29 March and he believed that they could still make that happen.

Against that backdrop, a barrage of US economic indicators is scheduled to be published later in the session on Friday, including figures on industrial production covering the month of February and a preliminary reading on the University of Michigan's consumer confidence index for March.

Among those companies due to update markets on Thursday is Berkeley Group Holdings.

Ahead of the homebuilder's trading update, Numis's Chris Millington noted how at the time of its half-year numbers the firm had described the market backdrop as “stable”.

Nevertheless, the company was lapping “exceptionally strong” comparables, he pointed out, and margins were on their way back down following the “very strong” levels seen over the last few years.

The analysts did believe the London housing market was now bumping along the bottom, what with transaction volumes reminiscent of the lows seen during the 2008/9 downturn.

But there were few signs of any improvement feeding through yet, it remained a “challenging” market and the company's return to the London land market would still take a couple of years to manifest itself in the form of higher earnings, Millington said.

Indeed, he expected earnings to keep falling in 2020; hence, the current valuation for the shares relative to the sector looked “high”.

Consensus was expecting the homebuilder's profit before tax to slide from £934.9m one year ago to £683m.

Friday March 15


Wetherspoon (J.D.)


Finncap Group , Gateley (Holdings) , Knights Group Holdings , Motorpoint Group, SSE


Aberdeen Standard Equity Income Trust , Canadian General Investments Ltd., Carnival


Capacity Utilisation (US) (13:15)

Consumer Price Index (EU) (10:00)

Industrial Production (US) (13:15)

U. of Michigan Confidence (Prelim) (US) (14:00)


Eurocell , Restaurant Group


LG Electronics Inc GDS (Reg S)


Berkeley Group Holdings (The)


Avon Rubber, Impax Asset Management Group, JPMorgan Russian Securities, LLoyds Banking Group 6.475% Non-Cum Pref Shares