Week Ahead: Nigeria’s $11bn lawsuit comes to court in London

Hello and welcome to the working week.

Are you enjoying the start of the new lunar calendar year? The Year of the Rabbit is supposed to represent hope, peace and prosperity. And we all need more of these things in 2023.

For the time being, however, this week is likely to see a continued focus on the more difficult matters of the present, not least China’s ability to vaccinate its citizens as the country opens up for the holiday season.

Industrial disputes will continue to rumble on with ambulance workers in England and Wales due to stage another strike on Monday. In Portugal, cabin crew at national carrier TAP will begin strike action on Wednesday amid a dispute about the airline’s pay offer and working conditions.

In Westminster politics on Tuesday, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy will take up a more positive tone when he sets out his party’s policy priorities.

He will probably weigh in on the UK’s relationship with the EU. By coincidence, Monday is the 10th anniversary of former prime minister David Cameron’s speech on Europe in which he pledged he would renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU and offer a referendum on membership. Perhaps Lammy will reference this.

Also in the UK, but not to do with the British government, Nigeria is due to mount a high-stakes legal trial at London’s High Court on Monday. The case involves a long-running attempt to overturn an $11bn arbitration award that left the Nigerian government owing more than a quarter of its foreign reserves to an obscure oil and gas company.

The main election news of the next seven days will be the run-off vote for the Czech presidential contest, which concludes on Saturday. Former Nato commander Petr Pavel is the frontrunner.

Also, Donald Trump is back. The former US president is expected to make his first public appearance on the 2024 election campaign trail on Saturday, when he will name his South Carolina leadership team.

Still feeling positive and hopeful?

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Economic data

The fourth week of the month should be renamed survey week. Over the next seven days we have the comparison of G7 nations with the purchasing managers’ index updates and the CBI industrial trends survey on Tuesday, followed by Germany’s Ifo Business Climate report on Wednesday, as well as other consumer confidence measures.

On Thursday the US releases its first estimate for GDP movement in the fourth quarter of last year. Spain will follow suit on Friday.

Inflation updates are due from the UK, Australia, Spain, Sweden and Singapore on Wednesday. Japan will also report its Consumer Price Index cost of living measure.

In central banker news, European Central Bank board member Fabio Panetta is due to appear at the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European parliament on Monday. Across the Atlantic, the Fed enters its purdah period ahead of the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which begins on January 31, and the Bank of Canada’s monetary policy committee is expected to raise its rate a further 25 basis-points to 4.50 per cent with the possibility of it signalling a pause in further increases.

Companies

Tech earnings are a key theme this week; investors remain concerned about the prospects for the sector after a series of significant job cut announcements by most of the largest companies. The approach taken by Microsoft, which reports second quarter figures on Tuesday, could be a model for other Big Tech players to follow, according to our West Coast editor Richard Waters. Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella managed to strike a note of cautious optimism while announcing 10,000 lay offs last week to bring down its cost base.

It will be another week for Elon Musk watchers (just like every other week) with Tesla reporting fourth quarter figures on Wednesday. The company has been cutting prices of its electric vehicles to bolster demand in the US and Europe. We’re assuming Musk will be following the FT’s coverage of the latest numbers given claims made by the billionaire’s lawyer last week in court.

The war in Ukraine has boosted the fortunes of the world’s largest defence contractors with governments promising to increase spending on weapons and other military equipment. Investors will be looking for comments from Lockheed Martin (reporting on Tuesday) and Northrop Grumman (whose numbers are out on Thursday) to see if these promises will actually generate future revenues.

Key economic and company reports

Here is a more complete list of what to expect in terms of company reports and economic data this week.

Monday

  • EU, European Central Bank board member Fabio Panetta appears before the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European parliament in Brussels

  • UK, CBI director-general Tony Dankers gives a speech, Is the UK Stuck in a Rut on Growth?, at the UCL campus in London

  • UK, investment by British companies abroad and foreign direct investment data

  • UK, EY Item Club winter economic forecast for the British economy

  • Results: Baker Hughes Q4

Tuesday

  • Australia, Eurozone, France, Germany, Japan, UK, US: S&P Global purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for manufacturing and services

  • Germany, GfK Consumer Climate survey

  • Hungary, monetary policy committee rate decision

  • Nigeria, monetary policy committee rate decision

  • UK, December public sector net borrowing figures

  • UK, CBI industrial trends survey

  • Results: Associated British Foods Q1 trading update, Brown & Brown Q4, Canadian National Railway Q4, Capital One Financial Q4, Danaher Q4, General Electric Q4, Halliburton Q4, Invesco Q4, Johnson & Johnson Q4, Lockheed Martin Q4, Microsoft Q2, Raytheon Technologies Q4, Saga trading update, Tata Motors Q3, Texas Instruments Q4, 3M Q4, Travelers Q4, Union Pacific Q4, Verizon Communications Q4

Wednesday

  • Australia, Q4 and December CPI inflation rate data

  • Belgium, NBB Business Climate survey

  • Canada, Bank of Canada monetary policy committee rate announcement

  • Germany, January Ifo Business Climate report

  • Singapore, December CPI inflation rate data

  • Sweden, December PPI inflation rate data

  • South Africa, monetary policy committee rate decision

  • Spain, December PPI inflation rate data

  • United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects report

  • UK, December producer price index (PPI) inflation rate data

  • Results: Alstom Q3 sales update, ASML FY, AT&T Q4, Boeing Q4, CMC Markets Q3 trading update, easyJet Q1 trading update, Givaudan FY, IBM Q4, Kimberly-Clark Q4, Levi Strauss Q4, Lonza FY, Raymond James Q1, Tesla Q4, Tod’s FY sales figures, JD Wetherspoon Q2 trading update, Woodside Energy Q4

Thursday

  • South Africa, December PPI inflation rate data. Also, central bank’s monetary policy committee rate-setting meeting.

  • UK, quarterly productivity statistics

  • UK, Zoopla house price index report

  • US, flash Q4 GDP data

  • US, Q4 consumer spending figures

  • Results: Banco Sabadell Q4, Comcast Q4, CVS Group trading update, Diageo H1, Fevertree Drinks FY trading update, Foxtons FY trading statement, Intel Q4, JCDecaux Q4, JetBlue Airways Q4, LVMH FY, Marsh & McLennan Q4, Mastercard Q4, Nokia Oyj Q4, Northrop Grumman Q4, Salvatore Ferragamo FY, Rank Group H1, SAP FY, St James’s Place Q4 trading statement, STMicroelectronics FY, Telia FY, Tate & Lyle Q3 trading statement, T Rowe Price Q4, Visa Q1, Volvo Group Q4, Wizz Air Q3

Friday

  • Australia, Q4 PPI inflation rate data

  • France, January consumer confidence survey

  • Spain, flash Q4 GDP data

  • US, December personal income and spending data

  • Results: American Express Q4, Charles Schwab winter business update, Chevron Q4, Colgate-Palmolive Q4, H&M FY, HCA Healthcare Q4, LG Electronics Q3, Rémy Cointreau Q3 sales update, YouGov H1 trading statement

World events

Finally, here is a rundown of other events and milestones this week.

Monday

  • Argentina, Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva begins his first state visit since becoming president again, meeting his Argentine counterpart Alberto Fernández

  • France, annual year ahead address by European Space Agency director-general Josef Aschbacher, providing an overview of ESA’s achievements in 2022 and the opportunities ahead in 2023

  • UK, Office for National Statistics publishes another tranche of data from the 2021 Census of England and Wales, detailing the ethnicity breakdown of the nations. Gender and sexual orientation data are published on Wednesday.

  • UK, over 2,600 Unison ambulance workers to begin another day of strike action in their dispute over pay. Separately, more than 1,000 Welsh Ambulance Service members of Unite the union begin a second 24-hour walk out over pay.

  • US, Mauricio Hernandez Pineda, a former national police officer in Honduras and cousin of the Central American country’s former president Juan Orlando Hernández, due to go on trial in Manhattan federal court on drugs charges

Tuesday

  • EU, 15th European Space Conference begins in Brussels

  • UK, shadow foreign secretary David Lammy to speak about the opposition Labour party’s foreign policy at a Chatham House event in London

  • US, Academy Award winner Riz Ahmed and star of hit film M3gan Allison Williams will announce this year’s Oscar film award nominees

  • US, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announces the location of the minute hand on its Doomsday Clock, indicating the perceived likelihood of nuclear catastrophe

Wednesday

  • Portugal, cabin crew at Portugal’sTAP airline begin strike action running until January 31, seeking better working conditions and higher pay

  • Senegal, the African Development Bank, the Senegalese government and the AU Commission host a food summit on the theme Feed Africa: Food Sovereignty and Resilience

  • UK, annual Convention of the North is held in Manchester to discuss the opportunities and challenges for the North of England. Speakers include Levelling Up secretary Michael Gove and his Labour party opposite Lisa Nandy.

  • UK, first strike by Amazon workers in the UK at a warehouse in Coventry, organised by members of the GMB union, over a 50p per hour pay offer.

  • UK, Burns Night celebrations in honour of Scotland’s national poet

Thursday

  • Australia, Australia Day national holiday

  • India, Republic Day national holiday

  • UK, first edition of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone goes on sale at Forum Auctions, estimated to raise between £50,000 to £70,000

  • US, Nasa’s Day of Remembrance to honour astronauts who gave their lives in the process of space exploration

Friday

Saturday

  • Armenia, Army Day national holiday

  • Australia, the Australian Open women’s final at Melbourne Park

  • Czech Republic, second round of the presidential election concludes

  • US, former president Donald Trump is expected to make his first public appearance for the 2024 presidential campaign, unveiling his South Carolina leadership team

Sunday

  • Australia, the Australian Open men’s final at Melbourne Park

This post was originally published on Financial Times

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