Nobel prizes, Conservative conference
The FT's Helen Barrett highlights the key stories in the coming week, with the Nobel science prizes awarded in Stockholm, the Conservative party holding its party conference in Manchester and PepsiCo reporting its earnings.
Filmed by Rod Fitzgerald. Written by Anna Nicolaou, Henry Mance and Clive Cookson. Produced by Seb Morton-Clark. Edited by Filip Fortuna.
Hello, and welcome to The Week Ahead, from The Financial Times in London. Here are some of the big stories we'll be looking at, in the coming days. The Nobel science prizes are awarded in Stockholm, UK Prime Minister Theresa May faces speculation about her leadership, at the Conservative Party Conference, and investors will be watching Pepsi Co to see if the drinks giant can build on recent momentum, as it reports earnings.
First up, medicine on Monday, physics on Tuesday, and chemistry on Wednesday. The Nobel science prizes will be awarded in Stockholm next week, with the peace and economics prize winners named a few days later. The prizes were first awarded in 1901, and the selection process has proved leak proof over the decades, but there's always speculation about the likely winners before the announcements.
Last year, the three science prizes were awarded for discoveries made between the 1970's and the 1990's, but this year, many expect Nobles to be awarded for more recent research. Here's our science editor, Clive Cookson, with his predictions.
Often the Nobel Prizes are awarded for work done decades ago, which is only now becoming a recognised importance. I think, this year, there might be a more recent winner, certainly in physics, because in 2016 there was a really exciting discovery, the first detection of gravitational waves rippling across the universe from the collision of two huge black holes. That must be the strongest contender in physics this year.
In the medical sciences, the most exciting Discovery is of a technique, called CRISPR, that enables people to edit the DNA far more precisely than previous genetic engineering has made possible. It is taking the world of medicine-- medical research by storm.
Brexit is likely to dominate debate at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, which runs over four days this week. UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, hopes to use the annual event to highlight domestic policies on housing and mental health. But, with the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, increasingly impatient with progress on the Brexit negotiations, many will be speculating about how secure her position is.
Mrs. May will make her headline speech on Wednesday, while the favourites to succeed her, Amber Rudd and Mr. Johnson, will present on Tuesday. Our team of reporters will, of course, be there. Here to look ahead is Henry Mance, our political correspondent.
The labour party conference in Brighton is-- felt like a bit of a celebration. The tone at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, which runs from Sunday to Wednesday, is bound to be a bit different. They are licking their wounds after the general election result.
Theresa May has a real balancing act on her hands. Firstly, with Brexit, she has to maintain the conciliatory tone that she struck in her Florence speech, but she also has to keep Brexiteers on side. She doesn't want leadership coming from Boris Johnson.
And secondly, she's trying to balance her desire for domestic change with the fact that, basically, the government is preoccupied by Brexit. So she'll try and talk about a Britain that works for all, a more modern Conservative Party. And yet, people know that her legacy is going to be set very much by progress on Brexit. And in the back of all this is the possibility of a leadership challenge.
Pepsi Co reports earnings next week. The US drinks giant is hoping to build on its success in the last quarter, when it delivered stronger than forecast results, with net sales growing 2% to $15.7 billion. That growth came on the back of higher prices for premium products to offset declining appetites among consumers for its fizzy drinks. The New York based group also raised its guidance on core earnings for the year, as renewed the dollar weakness helped lessen the currency headwinds it was expecting to face. In New York, our reporter, Anna Nicolaou, is watching the story.
The next week for Pepsi, people are going to be-- based-- the main thing is to look at if they can keep it up, because they have had some success in the past few quarters with-- their strategy has been to charge higher prices for premium snacks and healthier snacks-- organic food, stuff like that-- as we're seeing sales kind of stagnate, especially in North America for their trademark soda. So investors, analysts seem to be forecasting another beat on earnings next week. The key thing will be to, again, see if they can keep up revenue growth, amid an industry where they're seeing sales decline across the globe for these sugary sodas and kind of packaged food that's deemed not healthy for you.
And that's what the week ahead looks like, from The Financial Times in London. See you again, next time.