British investors await budget, rate decision
Investors on the London Stock Exchange will get a look next week at the broad outlines of the British budget as well as the Bank of England's latest stance on monetary policy.London - Investors on the London Stock Exchange will get a look next week at the broad outlines of the British budget as well as the Bank of England's latest stance on monetary policy.
The London FTSE 100 index finished Friday at 5,322.36 points, a 1.46 percent gain on this week's close.
The BoE on Thursday is to debate near-term interest rate policy, with analysts widely predicting there will be no change to the bank's 0.5 percent benchmark rate.
The bank in addition is tipped to maintain its quantitative easing program, under which it buys bonds from commercial institutions to try and boost lending to businesses and individuals, at 200 billion pounds (220 billion euros, 327 billion dollars).
On Wednesday finance minister Alistair Darling is to unveil the outlines of his 2010-2011 budget several months ahead of legislative elections that the opposition Conservative Party is tipped to win.
Economist Howard Archer at Global Insight has predicted that Darling will revise his growth projection for this year to minus 4.75 percent from minus 3.5 percent in light of six straight quarters of contraction.
Press reports have said he will likely maintain his 2010 forecast for positive growth of 1.0 to 1.5 percent.
Archer said Darling could also revise his public deficit estimate from 175 billion pounds to 190 billion pounds to take account of financial assistance to the banking sector.
In corporate news the market will digest retailer Tesco's third quarter financial report as well as that of Standard Chartered bank.