Biden and Xi set to meet, Sunak to lay out foreign policy goals

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Hello and welcome to the working week.

It is another busy seven days for company reports and a round of closely watched inflation data. But for world leaders the focus will be on diplomacy amid the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine.

A key moment is the meeting of Joe Biden and Xi Jinping at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco on Wednesday. It will be only their second in-person meeting as leaders — the first being a year ago at the G20 in Bali, Indonesia. Both sides are keen to stabilise relations after a period of growing tension over issues such as Chinese military activity near Taiwan and US efforts to stop Beijing from securing cutting-edge American technology.

Meanwhile, the Israel-Gaza conflict continues. A(nother) flashpoint likely this week will be Palestine Independence Day on Wednesday.

In London, after the pageantry and razzamatazz of this weekend’s Lord Mayor’s Show (for those unfamiliar with this ritual, read Michael O’Dwyer’s explainer) there is a set piece opportunity for prime minister Rishi Sunak to set out his foreign policy priorities at the Mansion House banquet hosted by new Lord Mayor Michael Mainelli.

A question is how much difference this latest event can make to Sunak’s polling numbers after his party conference speech failed to produce the desired uplift and his King’s Speech last week received a collective shrug from observers — not least the FT’s Robert Shrimsley.

Central bankers will be gathering at the 33rd Frankfurt European Banking Congress in Germany, potentially providing more debate about how long economies such as the US, UK and EU can sustain high interest rates. Discussion about inflation and how long rates can remain high will be further fuelled by the consumer price index (CPI) readings from the US, lower gasoline and utility prices set to keep the headline rate in check. In the UK, this week’s labour market and CPI data should offer further support to the MPC majority’s decision to pause rate hikes. For the rest of the economic reports, read below.

The week ends with a clutch of run-off elections, aiming to resolve inconclusive first-round contests. One to watch will be the vote for Argentina’s next president on Sunday, where politically astute economy minister Sergio Massa claims to offer a safer pair of hands than radical libertarian economist Javier Milei.

What are your priorities for the week ahead. Email me at or, if you are reading this from your inbox, just hit reply.

One more thing . . . 

King Charles III turns 75 on Tuesday. Love him or loathe him (or indeed see a constitutional monarch as the least bad of all options), it is hard to deny that he is a man of style. But don’t take my word for it, read Rob Armstrong.

Key economic and company reports

Here is a more complete list of what to expect in terms of company reports and economic data this week.


  • Web Summit, the annual technology conference that will this year bring together over 1,000 industry speakers, begins in Lisbon, Portugal

  • OPEC November Oil Market Report

  • EU: economic forecasts

  • India: October consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate data

  • UK: Rightmove November House Price Index

  • Results: ANZ FY, BAE Systems trading update, British Land HY, Grindr Q3, Mizuho Financial Group Q2, Samsonite Q3, Tyson Foods Q4


  • MPs on parliament’s business and trade committee will grill McDonald’s UK and Ireland chief executive Alistair Macrow on allegations of a ‘toxic workplace culture’ following claims of sexual harassment reported by the BBC

  • EU: preliminary Q3 GDP and unemployment figures

  • Germany: Zew economic sentiment survey

  • International Energy Agency November oil market report

  • UK: monthly labour market statistics

  • UK: October insolvency figures for England and Wales

  • US: October CPI inflation rate data

  • Results: Babcock International HY, Coface Q3, Foxconn Q3, Getty Images Q3, Grafton trading update, Hill & Smith trading statement, Home Depot Q3, Imperial Brands FY, Informa trading update, Land Securities HY, Oxford Instruments HY, RWE Q3, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group HY, Toshiba Q2, Vodafone HY, Wise HY


  • Rupert Murdoch steps down as News Corp chair following today’s annual shareholders meeting, becoming chairman emeritus

  • The UK’s Supreme Court considers whether the sale or advertising of trademarked goods on a foreign website infringes the relevant British and EU trade marks, relating to items that appeared on the Amazon ecommerce platform

  • China: October retail sales and industrial production figures

  • EU: European Commission economic forecasts for 2024 and 2025 GDP, inflation, debt, deficit, unemployment, current account balance for each member state

  • France: final October CPI and harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) inflation rate figures

  • Japan: preliminary Q3 GDP figures (AM local time)

  • Russia: Q3 GDP figures

  • UK: October CPI and producer price index (PPI) inflation rate data. Plus, Office for National Statistics November house price index.

  • US: October retail sales figures

  • Results: Alstom H1, Cisco Systems Q1, Experian HY, Fuller, Smith & Turner HY, Infineon Technologies Q4, JD.Com Q3, Palo Alto Networks Q1, SSE HY, TargetQ3, Tencent Q3, Tullow Oil trading statement


  • Steve Williams becomes chair of Smiths Group after the company’s annual general meeting, succeeding Sir George Buckley, who is retiring

  • US: NAHB housing market index plus October industrial production figures.

  • Results: Aegon Q3 trading update, Alibaba Q3, Applied Materials Q4, Aviva Q3 trading update, Burberry HY, Close Brothers Q1 trading update, CMC Markets HY, Crest Nicholson trading update, Dole Q3, Gap Q3, International Distributions Services HY, Investec HY, Kier Group trading update and AGM, Lenovo Q2, Liontrust Asset Management HY, Macy’s Q3, Melrose Industries trading update, Norcros HY, Premier Foods HY, QinetiQ HY, Siemens Q4, Smiths Group Q1 trading update and AGM, United Utilities HY, Walmart Q3, Warner Music Group Q4


  • European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde at the 33rd Frankfurt European Banking Congress in Germany

  • EU: October CPI and HICP inflation rate data

  • UK: October retail sales figures

  • Results: Generali Q3, Nationwide Building Society HY

World events

Finally, here is a rundown of other events and milestones this week. 


  • UAE: Opening day of the Dubai Airshow, which runs until Friday

  • UK: Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee questions former senior politicians and officials on the state of UK-Scotland intergovernmental relations, 25 years after the passing of the Scotland Act 1998. Witnesses will include former deputy first minister Jim Wallace, former Scotland secretary George Robertson

  • UK: Lord Mayor’s Banquet, in which prime minister Rishi Sunak speaks on British foreign policy


  • Liberia: presidential election run off after inconclusive first round of voting

  • UK: the Growth Commission, led by former prime minister Liz Truss, publishes tax reform proposals ahead of the current government’s Autumn Statement

  • UK: King Charles III celebrates his 75th birthday


  • Palestinian Territories: Independence Day celebrated in West Bank and Gaza

  • UK: National Audit Office publishes report on the country’s resilience to flood risk, poignant after the extensive damage caused by recent heavy rainfall

  • US: President Joe Biden to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco. The meeting of regional heads continues until Friday




  • Germany: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to visit Berlin and hold talks with German chancellor Olaf Scholz and president Frank-Walter Steinmeier

  • US: President Joe Biden hosts leaders from APEC nations in San Francisco


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Mike Ibanoz

Mike Ibanoz is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who has spent the better part of two decades covering gadgets and apps, and helping people make smarter tech decisions.

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