The week ahead

It’s a big week for investment news with this Thursday’s scheduled ECB announcement on interest rates expected to include the much anticipated furthering of asset purchases, or quantitative easing. Whilst the announcement is an almost certainty, the devil will be in the detail. The size of the programme will be expected to be at least £500 billion and hopefully will give some idea of what it is attempting to achieve; possibly an inflation target. Eurozone manufacturing survey data is due same day. We also see the Bank of England minutes of the last interest rate decision. We expect the split to remain 7-2 in favour of keeping rates on hold following the latest fall in inflation despite falling unemployment and rising wages. Labour market figures released same day will throw light on both.  Chinese GDP is expected to show a slight fall to 7.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014.