Friday preview: UK mortgage lending figures released

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LONDON (ShareCast) - The spotlight will shine on economic data out Friday including mortgage lending figures from the British Bankers' Association (BBA) and US durable goods orders.

BBA last month showed UK mortgage approvals fell 1.2% on the year in March to 31,227 as the government's Funding for Lending Scheme made the mortgage market more competitive.

Net mortgage lending dropped by £328 in March.

"Mortgage approvals edged up back to levels of a year ago and the prospect of more first-time buyers entering the market during 2013 is likely to help mortgage chains in due course," BBA Director David Dooks said at the time.

"However, economic uncertainty and subdued confidence continues to determine borrowing behaviour, with households and businesses reducing borrowing and building up deposits where possible."

The UK has this week produced a mixed bag of economic results including a hike in house prices, drop in retail sales and increase in factory orders.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday released a report on the UK economy, saying the country is a long way from recovery and needs to rebalance.

The report, which raised concerns about the risk of "permanent damage to long-term growth", called on the government to bring forward measures such as spending on infrastructure and job skills or cutting corporation tax.

In the US, data on the durable goods orders will follow last month's release which showed a sharp decline in March.

Orders for goods fell 5.7% in March, the biggest fall in seven months, indicating a slowdown in recovery.

Investors have been keeping close watch on the US this week as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered his testimony on the world's biggest economy yesterday.

He said the country should not tighten its belt on monetary stimulus too soon as it risked slowing down recovery in the wake of weak economic data including high unemployment. However, he did hint that the Fed could begin to scale back measures if the recovery is seen as sustainable.

Friday May 24th

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Swallowfield

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Durable Goods Orders (US) (13:30)
IFO Business index (GER) (09:00)

FINALS
Global Market Group Ltd (DI (KSE: 003160.KS - news) )

ANNUAL REPORT
Vindon Healthcare

SPECIAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Admiral Group (LSE: ADM.L - news)

AGMS
Beacon Hill Resources, Essenden, HSBC Holdings (HKSE: 0005.HK - news) , Kcell Joint Stock Co GDR (Reg S), Kings Arms Yard VCT, Longships, OJSC Pharmstandard GDR (Reg S), Robert Walters (LSE: RWA.L - news) , S & U, Vphase

UK ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
BBA Mortgage Lending Figures (09:30)

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE
Admiral Group, African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG.L - news) , BBA Aviation (LSE: BBA.L - news) , Bovis Homes Group, Charles Taylor, Costain Group (LSE: COST.L - news) , DRS Data & Research Services (LSE: DRS.L - news) , Dunedin Enterprise Investment Trust, F&C Asset Management (LSE: FCAM.L - news) , Fiberweb (Other OTC: FBWBF - news) , Fidelity European Values, Greggs (LSE: GRG.L - news) , H.R. Owen, Hydrogen Group, Inmarsat (Other OTC: IMASY - news) , Invesco Perpetual UK Small Companies Inv Trust, Kentz Corporation Ltd (LSE: KENZ.L - news) ., Maven Income and Growth VCT 5, Mithras Inv Trust, Morgan Sindall Group, North American Income Trust (The), Octopus Second AIM VCT, Paddy Power, Petrofac Ltd., Playtech, Portmeirion Group, Powerflute Oyj (DI), RPS Group (LSE: RPS.L - news) , RSA Insurance Group, St James's Place

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