Jobs figures take macro spotlight on Tuesday while LandSec leads company reports

Analysts at RBC Capital Markets are expecting the UK jobless rate to remain below 5% for a third successive month


Market participants will be looking at Tuesday’s official UK jobs report to gauge the health of the country’s labour market amid concerns that Brexit uncertainty has weighed on business confidence. 

Last month the Office for National Statistics revealed employers shrugged off concerns about the UK’s looming departure from the European Union in the three months to February with more jobs added and pay growth rising at the fastest rate in more than a decade.

For the next three-month period, RBC Capital Markets predict another “impressive rate” of job growth and sees the jobless rate remaining below 5% for a third successive month.

“However, with that large month-on-month gain dropping out of the quarter-on-quarter estimate from next month onwards, the pace of employment growth should slow over coming months,” it said.

“For wages, our view is that wage growth has peaked for the time being and we expect to see a slight moderation in wage growth in coming months and expect both the whole economy and regular pay growth measures to slow slightly this month.”

Downbeat assessment for LandSec

On the company news front, Land Securities Group PLC (LON:LAND) will be going in to bat for the blue-chips when it reports in full year results, although investors may not be particularly excited following a gloomy assessment of the London office market from Deutsche Bank.

Analysts said that while there has been a slightly less negative view of the sector they expected “further, and accelerated, weakness” in retail rents, putting further pressure on earnings and resulting in further write-downs in the retail portfolio to hit near term NAV estimates.

DB now expects flat earnings growth for LandSec in its coming results and beyond, alongside competitors like British Land Company PLC (LON:BLND) which is due to report results on Wednesday.

Premier Foods faces potential grilling of future

The maker of Mr Kipling cakes, Premier Foods PLC (LON:PFD) will potentially be facing a lot of questions about its future boss at its final results after reports surfaced in April that the firm had approached the former head of Weetabix Ltd, Giles Turrell, to become its new chief executive.

Meanwhile, investors will likely be looking for any updates on how the group is planning to reduce its debts after calling off a sale of its Ambrosia custard unit earlier in the year.

There will also be hopes that the group’s Mr Kipling, Bisto and Batchelors brands have continued to increase market share and offset sales declines in other areas of the business.

Whatever the firm can come up, investors will be wanting as much good news as they can get to sooth the battered share price, which has fallen 60% over the last 12 months.

Sunny times for On The Beach

On The Beach Group PLC (LON:OTB) is expected to report a “good first half” when it publishes its interim results.

Back in February, the all-inclusive holidays site posted a 20% jump in ‘revenue after marketing’, although things are likely to have become a bit more tricky of late, given recent industry data.

Analysts think this summer should prove easier as well, with no World Cup this time around and a four-month heatwave unlikely to hit the UK again.

City broker Peel Hunt has pencilled in a rise in underlying earnings (EBITDA) to £19mln in the first half of OTB’s financial year.

Significant announcements expected for Tuesday May 14:

Finals: Land Securities PLC (LON:LAND), Premier Foods PLC (LON:PFD), Concepta PLC (LON:CPT), Braemar Shipping Services PLC (LON:BMS), Great Eastern Energy Corp Ltd. (LON:GEEC)

Interims: On The Beach Group PLC (LON:OTB), Stock Spirits Group PLC (LON:STCK), ITE Group PLC (LON:ITE), TUI AG (LON:TUI)

AGMs: Eden Research PLC (LON:EDEN), IWG PLC (LON:IWG), Capita PLC (LON:CPI)

Economic data: UK jobs, average earnings; US export, import prices; US import, export prices

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