Trump's UK visit, Nato summit, US bank results
The FT's Vanessa Kortekaas highlights the key stories to watch in the week ahead, including US President Donald Trump's long-awaited visit to the UK, a Nato summit and US banking results.
Edited by Vanessa Kortekaas. Written by Henry Mance, Michael Peel and Alistair Gray. Filmed by Rod Fitzgerlad. Images by Getty.
Here are the top stories we're watching this week. Donald Trump is set to make his much-talked about trip to the UK, his first since becoming US president.
Nato leaders are gathering in Brussels, where defence spending is expected to top the agenda. And JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup are among the US banks reporting quarterly results.
First, the US president is set to arrive in the UK at the end of the week in a visit that could expose strains in the transatlantic relationship. His trip will be a working visit rather than a full state visit, which was initially offered by British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Mr Trump backed away from the proposed state visit after it sparked political controversy in the UK. But protesters are still expected to turn out during his whirlwind trip that will include a meeting with the Queen, a visit to the prime minister's country residence Chequers, and a dinner with business leaders. He will then fly to Scotland where he owns several golf courses.
The UK government is likely to prioritise bilateral co-operation on security and trade during the visit. Here's our political correspondent, Henry Mance, with more.
Two things are almost certain on this visit. One is that there will be protests. Some protesters want to put up a 20ft blimp of Donald Trump as a baby in a nappy. And the other certain thing is that there'll be pretty pictures of Donald Trump meeting the Queen, him at nice locations, and he's going to enjoy that part.
The unknown and the crucial thing is whether he goes off message. Other world leaders, Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, they all found it quite difficult to rein in Donald Trump. Theresa May is going to have the same problem. In the past, she's tried to get him to say tough things on Russia. But if, for example, he was to say Britain isn't spending enough on defence or maybe the west should reevaluate its relationship with Vladimir Putin, that will be really embarrassing for the British prime minister and that's what she wants to avoid.
Before Mr Trump arrives in the UK, he and Mrs May will already have had a chance to get reacquainted, as they're both scheduled to attend a Nato summit in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday. Nato leaders are gathering to inaugurate the alliance's new headquarters on the outskirts of the Belgian capital.
But the summit is likely to be dominated by some difficult questions on defence spending. Mr Trump has previously called Nato obsolete and criticised Germany and other European Nato members for failing to spend enough on defence. Nato members also worry the US president could make some unwelcome statements, for example, about ending joint military exercises with European Nato states, when he meets Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki next week.
The Nato summit also comes amid growing trade tensions between the US and some of its western allies. Here's Philip Stephens with more on what to expect.
Clearly, among European leaders, there's some trepidation about Donald Trump's visit to Europe and to Nato headquarters this week. After the disastrous G7 summit in Canada, Europeans fear another big split in the western alliance. And, in particular, they fear that Donald Trump may downplay, downsize the US contribution to Nato.
The big concern, I think, is that Mr Trump sees security and trade as two sides of the same coin. The threat, as it were - the implied threat is if Europeans don't buy more American goods, don't have fairer "trading arrangements" with the US, then the US is going to cut its commitment to the defence of Europe.
This coming just before Donald Trump meets Vladimir Putin amid fears that Mr Trump wants to relax the pressure on Mr Putin after the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of eastern Ukraine.
And finally, we'll get a health check on some of the US's biggest banks this week. JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup will report second-quarter results on Friday. Wells Fargo is also due to report, but isn't expected to fare as well as its rivals, with analysts predicting just a 5% year-on-year increase in earnings for the quarter.
US banking stocks have gone out of favour lately with the S&P 500 financial index, dropping 12% since a historic rally led to a post-crisis high in January. Here's the FT's Alistair Gray.
Bottom lines at the big US banks like JPMorgan and Citi are likely to look very strong. But if you look a little under the surface, there is also shaping out to be just OK, not spectacular. Most of the forecast profits improvement is down to tax cuts. They've given banks billions of dollars in additional profits.
The underlying banking business is doing fine, although the picture is a bit mixed. Lending volumes have been light of late, and that's a concern. But customers' default rates remain pretty low. We will be paying close attention to trends in deposit pricing. So far, large banks have been able to avoid passing on higher interest rates to many savers. When the tide turns it's a crucial question for the sector.
And that's the Week Ahead from the Financial Times in London.