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While Tuesday will be quiet on the corporate front, British Retail Consortium (BRC) retail sales figures and services purchasing managers' index (PMI) data will be released.

Economic news

There has been a distinct weakening in high street spending over the past few months, with the Office of National Statistics measure of retail sales dropping back by 0.6% over the fourth quarter as a whole, while the BRC survey has shown annual like-for-like sales value growth heading towards zero.

Investec economist Philip Shaw says: "In short we do not think that last month's numbers were depressed by 'tough comps' and we see no 'technical' reasons for a January rebound. We are expecting like-for-like sales growth to have fallen further, most probably into negative territory, with our forecast at -0.5%."

In December, the British services PMI fell to 48.9, indicating a modest contraction in service sector activity at the end of last year and taking the index to its lowest level since the depths of the financial crisis in April 2009.

Victoria Cadman of Investec comments: "We expect to see a bounce back of sorts in the UK PMI, with it climbing to 49.5, getting closer to but still standing short of the 'breakeven' point."

Trading statements

ARM Holdings, Allocate Software, BP, St Modwen Properties, Low & Bonar, BG Group, Victrex, TalkTalk Telecom, Qinetiq.


Dewhurst, Numis Corporation, Albion Income & Growth, Victrex.


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