It is sure to be another hectic week in Westminster as Boris Johnson tries to take control of the chaos surrounding his Brexit strategy.

Investors will also be watching the European Central Bank meeting, Apple will attempt to wow Wall Street and customers alike with the launch of new iPhones, British Airways pilots are due to strike and we have the Frankfurt Motor Show.


The UK’s prime minister is not getting off to a great start. He has already lost two key votes that further clouded the path towards Brexit. Over the past week he has lost brother Jo Johnson’s support after he decided family ties weren’t enough, and Amber Rudd, who revealed she was abandoning ship over the weekend.

These resignations come alongside the sacking of the 21 rebels last week, which sent shockwaves through UK politics, given that the expelled MPs include high-profile figures such as Ken Clarke, a one-time chancellor, and Rory Stewart, who stood for the leadership this summer.

The expulsion of former chancellor Philip Hammond was particularly shocking given that he was chancellor — the second most powerful politician in the country — under Theresa May’s administration until the summer.

Mr Hammond threatened legal action against the Conservatives over the weekend.

This all leaves Mr Johnson squeezed on options to achieve an October general election and he faces a week where he may need to use what he has called his “powers of persuasion” to attempt to secure a new Brexit deal in Brussels next month.

British Airways strikes

British Airways pilots are set to begin strike action on Monday in a dispute over pay, escalating the pressure on the airline. BA plans to operate only a handful of flights on Monday and Tuesday during a 48-hour walkout period that would normally have 1,700 flights.

About 280,000 customers are expected to be affected by the 1,700 flights at risk of being grounded next week. The majority of flights on these days have already been cancelled.

The walkout — which comes after nine months of pay negotiations — will be followed by another strike on September 27.

Background reading 

British Airways threatens to strip pilot perks in strike row

Norway elections

Local elections in Norway are being held this week that are being seen as a referendum on environmental policies, where road toll rises have become an emotive topic, polarising debate ahead of the vote.

Background reading

Norwegians’ anger at toll roads drives climate change backlash

Frankfurt Motor Show

The Frankfurt Motor Show begins on Thursday and runs to September 22. This year’s gathering aims to champion sustainable driving and electric cars, with Volkswagen, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz all showcasing their latest electric offerings.

Central banks

The European Central Bank concludes its policy meeting on Thursday, when officials are expected to cut interest rates and outline plans for economic stimulus measures.

In July, the ECB left its benchmark rates unchanged, but president Mario Draghi hinted officials could revive a quantitative easing programme to boost a slowing economy.

Mr Draghi will speak at a press conference following the ECB’s meeting, which comes a week before a rate decision by the US Federal Reserve. The market also expects the Fed to lower rates.

ECB’s Draghi faces up to supercharged market expectations

Poland’s central bank meets on Wednesday, with no changes expected.

Turkey’s central bank is expected to cut interest rates by another several hundred basis points on Thursday, after inflation decelerated more than expected in August. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also said he is “allergic” to interest rates.

Companies news and earnings

Apple unveils its latest iPhones on Tuesday in Silicon Valley. The 13th iteration of the smartphone is expected to come in a new iPhone Pro model that features a new third camera lens on the reverse and wireless charging capabilities.

Apple is expected to introduce upgrades for its current high-end iPhones, the XS and XS Max, and a new version of its lower-priced smartphone.

Despite the introduction of new colours and finishes, the overall look of the latest iPhones will be broadly similar to the iPhone 10.

Apple’s services — a fast-growing segment for the company that includes iTunes and the App Store — will also be in the spotlight.

Background reading

As iPhone 11 looms, Apple looks beyond the smartphone

There is little in the way of earnings reports this week in the US. Kroger is expected to report growth in quarterly sales on Thursday, when the supermarket chain’s gun policies will also be keenly watched after it asked customers to stop openly carrying firearms in stores.

Chipmaker Broadcom is expected to post a rise in third-quarter revenue on the same day.

In London, AB Foods, JD Sports, Wm Morrison, Galliford Try, Ashtead Group, Bovis Homes, Sanne and JD Wetherspoon are among those reporting.

Economic data

The UK’s gross domestic data for July is released on Monday, with a 0.1 per cent fall forecast.

UK jobs data are due on Tuesday. UK employers added 115,000 jobs in the quarter to June despite Brexit uncertainty and this print is expected to remain positive.

Russia is on Monday expected to report that its economy grew by 0.9 per cent in the second quarter, leaving its central bank with more incentive to keep cutting borrowing costs.

In the US on Thursday, the seasonally adjusted consumer price index for August is likely to show a 0.1 per cent rise, after increasing 0.3 per cent in July. The core CPI is likely to have risen 0.2 per cent in August.

On Friday, the retail sales report for August is expected to show a 0.2 per cent increase, following a 0.7 per cent uptick in the month before.

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