The biggest event on Wednesday amid a quieter day in the corporate calendar will be the UK’s ‘mini-budget’, in which Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is expected to unveil a raft of measures designed to help power the British economy out of the sharp slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures.
Policies expected to be included in the statement include a cut to Value Added Tax (VAT) and a stamp duty ‘holiday’ that will raise the property value threshold for when people start paying the tax from £125,000 to £500,000.
Other announcements rumoured to be included are an incentive scheme to encourage companies to employ trainees for work experience, as well as providing the public with vouchers worth £500 and £250 to spend in areas of the economy that have been hardest hit by the lockdown in the hopes of stimulating a recovery.
There may also be some temporary extensions to business rate exemptions and grants to help keep firms afloat.
FirstGroup pulls into the station with results
Shareholders are likely to keep an eye on how lockdown measures across the world have affected the company’s bus business and UK rail franchises, which include Great Western Railway, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express and Avanti West Coast.
Passenger numbers on public transport have fallen sharply as lockdown has effectively ended mass commuting, while the shift to working from h9oem may mean passenger numbers never return to pre-pandemic levels.
As a result, investors are likely going to keep an eye on the company’s outlook for passenger traffic in the coming months, as well as any plans it may have to sustain the value of the business if workers decide to abandon the daily commute in favour of home working in large numbers.
Meanwhile, the market can also expect a trading update from polymer specialist Victrex plc (LON:VCT), as well as final results from U and I Group PLC (LON:UAI) and Liontrust Asset Management PLC (LON:LIO).
Significant announcements expected for Wednesday July 8: