Thursday preview: EU council summit, Philly Fed index in the spotlight
The focus on Thursday will be on the start of a two-day summit of the European Council, the bloc's highest decision-making body.
EU leaders, along with the head of council and of the European Commission, are expected to discuss the latest Brexit developments at length, together with other weighty matters, including proposals from some member states for start accession procedures for multiple nations in the Balkans.
Against that backdrop, at 0930 BST the Office for National Statistics is due to release retail sales for the month of September.
A flurry of US economic data will follow later in the session, including a reading on US housing starts for that same month and the latest findings of the Federal Reserve bank's month factory sector survey.
On the corporate side of things, the focus will be on consumer goods giant Unilever as it presents a trading update.
Given "difficulties" in Europe, North America and Latin America, analysts at Morgan Stanley said the firm was facing a "difficult" start to the back half of the year.
Somewhat surprisingly perhaps, Turkey was proving to be a bright spot, whereas elsewhere on the Continent, Unilever was facing an overall deflationary environment, together with challenges with specific retailers.
In the US meanwhile, analyst Richard Taylor was anticipating a decline in the company's like-for-likes, with LATAM LFLs seen down by about 1.0%.
Taylor said markets were likely to focus on four things in particular: the firm's margin target for 2020, the potential for savings Stateside in the second half that can be reinvested in either growth or margins, an update on potential acquisitions including progress with Horlicks and further colour on growth in emerging markets, especially for Brazil, India and Indonesia.
Investors will also be keeping an eye out for the latest quarterly update from US video streaming giant Netflix that is due after the close of markets on Wednesday.
Thursday October 17
INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
BBGI SICAV S.A. (DI), Convatec Group , Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd (Bermuda), Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd. (Jersey), Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd. (Singapore), Hongkong Land Holding Ltd. (Sing.Reg), Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd (Singapore Reg), Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd. (Bermuda), Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd. (Jersey), Jardine Strategic Holdingd Ltd. (Bermuda), Jardine Strategic Holdingd Ltd. (Jersey REG), Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd. (Singapore), Mandarin Oriental International (Singapore), Non-Standard Finance, Somero Enterprises Inc. (DI), TT Electronics
INTERIM EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Amati AIM Vct , BAE Systems, Catco Reinsurance Opportunities Fund Limited C Shs (DI), Catco Reinsurance Opportunities Fund Ltd (DI), Downing Three VCT F Shs, Downing Three VCT H Shs, Downing Three VCT J Shs, Downing Two VCT F Shs , Downing Two VCT G Shs, Eland Oil & Gas, Kerry Group 'A' Shares, Learning Technologies Group , Lookers, M. P. Evans Group, Marshalls, Menzies(John), Octopus AIM VCT 2, US Solar Fund, Witan Pacific Inv Trust, Xpediator
QUARTERLY EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Supermarket Income Reit
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Building Permits (US) (13:30)
Capacity Utilisation (US) (14:15)
Continuing Claims (US) (14:30)
Crude Oil Inventories (US) (15:30)
Housing Starts (US) (13:30)
Industrial Production (US) (14:15)
Initial Jobless Claims (US) (14:30)
Philadelphia Fed Index (US) (13:30)
SPECIAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Octopus AIM VCT 2
Avengardco Investments Public Ltd GDR, Fiske, Nakama Group, Tlou Energy Limited (DI), Watches of Switzerland Group
UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Retail Sales (09:30)
FINAL EX-DIVIDEND DATE
Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited NPV (DI), Henderson EuroTrust, JPMorgan Emerging Markets Inv Trust, Jupiter UK Growth Investment Trust, Photo-Me International, Schroder Japan Growth Fund, Smiths Group, Sylvania Platinum Ltd (DI), Wilmington