A cosmic theme before Christmas

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Hello and welcome to the working week.

Excuse me if this letter has an element of bah mystification. Last week I was away – thanks to Maxine Kelly for replacing me – and I managed to contract a nasty flu. My only joy – other than a book I intended to read – was realizing I didn’t have Covid-19, Omicron variant, or whatever. We are living in strange times. Email me at [email protected]

You might be getting ready for the main event at the end of the week, but there are still a few things to go over the next few days.

Emmanuel Macron celebrates his 44 years this Tuesday. Clearly wishing to avoid clashing with personal birthday celebrations, he began the business of his re-election campaign last week. Prepare for more of this activity, however, in the days and months to come.

Have you heard that the Financial Times named Elon Musk their Character of the Year? This week, his company SpaceX is launching a crewed refueling mission to the International Space Station. Not to be outdone, NASA scientists will separately send the James Webb Space Telescope, the world’s largest and most advanced cosmic observatory, which could lead to the discovery of life on distant planets. There is hope.

Economic data

The economic calendar looks like it’s late before Christmas. There is data on US consumer confidence, home sales figures as well as a series of surveys in the eurozone and the UK, with a further decline likely next month. The inflation debate will have another moment after the excitement of last week’s central bank committee meeting, with the release of cost of living figures for France and Japan.

Companies

This week has less business news, but a big profit call or two. Heineken, which releases its annual results Wednesday, is hoping for better news than last quarter, when it announced lower sales due to lower sales in Asia. Closures across Europe do not bode well for the Dutch group. Nike releases second quarter figures on Monday.

Main economic and corporate reports

Here’s a more comprehensive list of what to expect in terms of corporate reports and economic data this week.

Monday

  • China, key rate decision

  • The UK, the Rightmove Monthly House Price Index and the CBI’s Monthly Industrial Trends Survey, as well as the Office for National Statistics, publish statistics on public sector finances and figures on foreign direct investments for 2020

  • Results: Nike T2

Tuesday

  • Canada, monthly retail sales data

  • Germany, GfK survey on consumer confidence

  • Italy, producer price index (PPI) figures

  • Norway, speech by Deputy Central Bank Governor Oystein Borsum on the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund and climate change

  • United Kingdom, revised third quarter GDP figure and HMRC tax revenue data

  • United States, third quarter real GDP and Conference Board consumer confidence figures

  • Results: Blackberry Q3, General Mills T2

Wednesday

  • France, PPI figures

  • Japan Central Bank Releases October Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes

  • UK, ONS Quarterly Consumption Trends Report, as well as Quarterly Business Investment, Sector Accounts and Economic Accounts

  • Results: Heineken FY, PayChex T2

Thusday

  • Canada, monthly GDP figure

  • Japan, Consumer Price Index (CPI) data

  • Portugal, Q3 budget deficit data

  • UK, GfK Consumer Confidence Survey and CBI Monthly Growth Indicators Report

Friday

Global events

Finally, here’s a look at other events and milestones this week.

Monday

  • 50th anniversary of the founding of the international aid organization Médecins Sans Frontières by Bernard Kouchner and a group of journalists in Paris, France

  • UK Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to decide whether tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch can be extradited to the United States on charges related to the sale of Autonomy, the software company that he founded, at HP

Tuesday

  • Anniversary of the Lockerbie disaster in 1988 when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over the Scottish town, killing 270 people

  • France, President Emmanuel Macron celebrates his 44 years

  • SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches Dragon cargo refueling mission to International Space Station

  • US and Oscar preliminary lists announced

  • Winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. Those marking the occasion include, in the UK, the Druids at Stonehenge and the Burning the Clocks Parade in Brighton

Wednesday

  • Spain’s El Gordo (The Fat One), Europe’s largest and oldest lottery draw, takes place in Madrid

  • In the United States, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which will be the first observatory of the next decade, is expected to launch

Thusday

Friday

  • Israel, annual celebrations take place in Bethlehem, including procession through Manger Square

  • Libya, legislative elections

  • Vatican City, Christmas mass at St. Peter’s Basilica celebrated by Pope Francis

Saturday

Sunday

  • Australia, start of third of five Ashes tests in Melbourne

  • UK Boxing Day sales begin

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