A busy week ahead and will rates go up?

With imminent news concerning the UK, US and Europe, Rebecca O’Keefe, head of investments at interactive investor reviews what could be a big week for the markets.

A busy week ahead and will rates go up?

The next few days look set to bring a flood of news for investors, with US and UK central bank decisions, the Federal Reserve chair announcement due, US employment data on Friday and the first charges expected from Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 US Presidential election – not to mention events in Catalonia.

Investors will be forgiven for potentially hunkering down and playing a waiting game to see which way markets react to all the news.

It’s looking like a huge week for central banks, with the Bank of England likely to raise rates for the first time in a decade and Donald Trump scheduled to announce his new pick for Federal Reserve chair, overshadowing the Fed decision on Wednesday which is expected to remain neutral for now.

With the tsunami of liquidity from global quantitative easing and low interest rates having underpinned valuations since the financial crisis, what happens next is of huge importance for currencies, equities and the bond market – leaving no investor immune to the impact.

HSBC is the final one of the big four UK listed banks to announce its results and they are impressive. Shifting to the East has reaped rewards for the bank, whose investors have been significantly rewarded over the past few months, even if today’s performance is relatively muted.

All but one of the UK banks has seen their share price rise significantly over the past year, with Barclays the exception, as investors remain concerned about their past misdemeanours and investment banking profits.

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