Tough times for the ECB

 

One way or another, the attention this week will be on the European Central Bank when it is not on the Middle East. On Thursday, the bank meets to discuss interest rates and, while it is still thought unlikely to raise them again, the events of last week have sown some uncertainty. Apart from setting rates, the bank will be keeping a close eye on the euro which is now well below the point at which intervention last took place. ECB president Mr Wim Duisenberg has not ruled out intervention but such action tends to take place on the upward curve and, for now, there is no sign of that in Europe.

Monday

Results: Egg (Q3), Newcastle United, Norsk Hydro (Q3).

A.G.M.: BG Group (e.g.m.).

Meetings: Euro-zone finance ministers meet (Luxembourg); ECB executive board member Sirkka Hamalainen addresses Institute of European Affairs on "EMU Experience and Prospects A Small State Perspective".

Indicators: US business inventories (Aug); Japanese industrial production (Aug); Italian industrial production (Aug).

Others: Bidding begins for British wireless telecoms licences; Budget day in Portugal; Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs Mr Ahern at publication of INOU's "Working for Work"; Minister for Labour Affairs Mr Tom Kitt introduces new FAS safety awareness programme.

Tuesday

Results: Bellway, Ciba (Q3), Dassault Aviation (H1), Debenhams, Osprey Comms, Philips (Q3), Valeo (Q3), Walker Greenback (H1).

Meetings: EU finance ministers meet (Luxembourg); Hibernian brokers conference on Competing without Boundaries (O'Reilly Hall, UCD); Seminar on staff retention (RDS, Dublin).

Indicators: EMU consumer prices (Sep); Irish consumer prices (Sep) and wholesale prices (Sep); US industrial production (Sep) and capacity utilisation (Sep); German wholesale sales (Sep); French trade balance (Aug); Italian consumer prices (Sep).

Others: Third US presidential debate.

Wednesday

Results: Blacks Leisure (H1), Homestyle Group (H1), Parthus Technologies (Q3), Prowting (H1).

Meetings: Conference on "The Business of Public Private Partnerships" (Maryborough House Hotel, Cork); Annual conference of Irish chapter of Information Systems Audit and Control Association (Hilton hotel, Dublin); Irish Internet Association/IBI Corporate Finance seminar on "The Money Trail" (Mont Clare Hotel, Dublin); Plato National Networking Day (Burlington Hotel, Dublin).

Indicators: Japanese leading indicators (Aug); British unemployment (Sep); US consumer prices (Sep) and housing starts (Sep); Japanese trade balance (Sep).

Others: Music network publishes Policy 2000.

Thursday

Results: Air Partner, Novartis (Q3), Sunderland.

A.G.M.: CFS Group (e.g.m.), London Stock Exchange (e.g.m).

Meetings: ECB governing council meets in Paris on interest rates; to Fri); European Investment Bank forum 2000 - "Regional Development Making Efficient Use of Financial Resources" (Bremen); European chambers of industry and commerce association 8th congress on "Vital Enterprises Vital Europe"; Sales Institute of Ireland breakfast with Minister for Finance Mr McCreevy (Westbury Hotel, Dublin).

Indicators: British retail sales (Sep) and building society figures (Sep); US international trade (Aug) and Philadelphia federal survey (Oct).

Others: Italian auction of five third generation mobile phone licences begins; "Do Business in Ireland" trade fair (Canal Court Hotel, Newry); National Transport Users Association officially set up; Datalex shares to be priced in New York and Dublin.

Friday

Results: Bristol & West Investments (H1), EADS (H1), Ericsson (Q3), Nestle (Q3), Reuters (Q3).

A.G.M.: Fairplace Consulting, Photo-Me International, P&O (e.g.m.).

Meetings: Baltimore's Mr Fran Rooney talks to ACCA Leinster Society (Berkelely Court hotel, Dublin); EU fisheries ministers (Luxembourg); Seminar on EU deregulation and its impact on national regulation of e-commerce (Institute of European Affairs); Third Asia-Europe Summit (Seoul).

Indicators: British GDP (Q3); French industrial production (Aug).

Others: Do Business In Ireland trade fair (Dundalk Institute of Technology).