Market watch: The Week Ahead

NEXT will be the first of the major retailers to shine a light on Christmas trade on Wednesday. The group is forecast by analysts at Seymour Pierce stockbrokers to have seen 4.1 per cent growth in revenues in the three months to 24 December, compared to a 3.3 per cent drop in the previous quarter.

Elsewhere on the high street, some retailers will not be so robust.

HMV is expected to reveal an 8 per cent like-for-like decline in sales for the period on 9 January, while Home Retail is forecast an 8 per cent same-store decline at Argos on 12 January and Mothercare may reveal a 9.2 per cent drop on the same day. The pressure on the retail sector is not set to alleviate any time soon, as shoppers are forecast to slash nearly £1 billion from spending on non-essential goods, such as electrical items.

Tuesday: CIPS manufacturing PMI survey

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Wednesday: (trading updates) Domino’s Pizza, Next; CIPS construction PMI survey; Bank of England lending figures

Thursday: (trading updates) Clinton Cards (AGM), Costain;

CIPS services PMI survey

Friday: (trading update) Robert Walters; bus maker Optare holds meeting to vote on share placing that will hand 75 per cent stake to India’s Ashok Leyland.