Trump case reaches a climax and strike threats premiere at Cannes

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Hello and welcome to the working week.

The top political story in the US continues to be former president Donald Trump’s trial in Manhattan on 34 counts of falsifying business records to conceal a $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels (something he denies). He will be back in the courtroom in Manhattan this week, when we could see his fixer-turned-key prosecution witness Michael Cohen take the witness stand, with prosecutors aiming to finish presenting their case. Trump will also be crossing town to host a private fundraiser for his 2024 presidential campaign. You can catch up on these unfolding stories via the FT’s twice-weekly US Election Campaign newsletter. Sign up here to receive it in your inbox or click here for past editions.

Trump’s rival President Joe Biden will be out and about too over the next seven days, with considerably more freedom . . . or perhaps not. That other big US news theme is the student protest movement against the Israel-Gaza conflict, being played out on campuses across the country. Biden is scheduled to deliver an address at Morehouse College’s commencement ceremony this coming Sunday. But some faculty members, students and alumni have called for the invitation to be rescinded over the administration’s policy in the Israel-Hamas war.

It’s a big week for Singapore, which gets its first new prime minister in 20 years on Wednesday, when they wake up to Wong — Lawrence Wong, only the second non-member of the Lee family dynasty to lead the tiny, affluent city-state of 6mn people. Learn more about the challenges he faces from this Person in the News explainer by the FT’s Singapore correspondent Mercedes Ruehl.

This is a big year for France with Paris limbering up to host the Olympics. This week world media attention will focus on the French Riviera for the annual gathering of movie moguls at Cannes, though the event has been overshadowed by strike threats by festival workers angry at new labour laws — a move backed by some 300 moviemakers. Someone who will not be on the red carpet, despite his newest film premiering at the festival, is Iranian writer-director Mohammad Rasoulof, who was last week sentenced to eight years imprisonment and to be flogged. It seems a good moment to encourage you to read this FT interview with the man from 2013.

Across the Channel in the UK, things are going far from well for the opening of the country’s biggest entertainment venue the Co-op Live arena in Manchester — read this FT analysis to catch up. Elbow are due to become the first act to perform there on Tuesday after a series of problems forced others to pull out. Whether the Co-operative Group itself is valuing the publicity will become evident on Saturday when it holds its annual general meeting at, you’ve guessed it, the Co-op Live arena.

Talking of companies that would prefer to be out of the news at the moment, Boeing will get a new chair this week as Steve Mollenkopf takes over from Larry Kellner at the aircraft manufacturer’s annual shareholders’ meeting on Friday.

The economic data run this week is led by a deluge from the US and China, including inflation figures from the former, and from both retail sales, industrial production and housing figures. Look out also for UK unemployment numbers on Tuesday — another key data point for those looking for early interest rate cuts — plus German inflation figures (also on Tuesday) and Japan’s first stab at a first-quarter GDP estimate on Thursday. There is also a strong run of central banker speakers.

We will continue to have a steady run of company reports over the next few days. Among the most watched will be Walmart, Alibaba, BT, Vodafone, Greggs, Tencent, JD.com and Bayer. Hospitality is a theme. UK pub group Marston’s is expected to post a rise in half-year profits when it reports on Tuesday, buoyed by strong trading performance during the festive period. For more about the surprising revival of British boozers, read this opinion piece by my FT colleague John Gapper.

One more thing . . . 

Thank you for all the birthday messages last week. I’m not revealing my age, but it’s a little older than Mark Zuckerberg, billionaire co-founder of Facebook and chief executive officer of parent company Meta Platforms, who turns 40 on Tuesday. I’m not sure whether a one-on-one FT interview is on Zuckerberg’s birthday bucket list (why not, I don’t know, and if he’s reading, as an FT writer about entrepreneurship, I’m available), but his British lieutenant and former deputy UK prime minister Nick Clegg ticked that one off a few years ago — and is well worth another read, if just because it’s a classic from my colleague Henry Mance.

Share your plans and priorities for the week ahead. Email me at [email protected] or, if you are reading this from your inbox, hit reply.

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.

Monday

  • 888 Holdings annual meeting, where shareholders will vote on the proposed company name change to Evoke

  • Games Global is due to announce the final pricing of its IPO, before shares in the UK-based developer, distributor and marketer of iGaming content commence trading on the New York Stock Exchange tomorrow

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

  • UK: CIPD Labour Market Outlook report

  • Results: Bridgestone Q1, SoftBank FY, Suzuki FY, Yamaha Q1

Tuesday

  • Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell participates with De Nederlandsche Bank president Klaas Knot in a Foreign Bankers’ Association discussion in the Netherlands

  • Bank of England chief economist Huw Pill answers online questions on the economic outlook for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

  • Opec Oil Market Report

  • Australia: Treasurer Jim Chalmers presents the annual federal Budget

  • Germany: April CPI and harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) inflation rate data. Also, May ZEW expectations survey

  • UK: May labour market statistics

  • US: April producer price index (PPI) inflation rate data, plus Johnson Redbook Retail Sales Index

  • Results: Alcon Q1, Alibaba Q4, Asahi Q1, Bayer Q1, Currys FY trading update, DCC FY, Eneos Q4, Ferrovial Q1, Flutter Q1, Foxconn Q1, Greggs trading update, Home Depot Q1, Martson’s HY, Sony FY, Tencent Q1, Treatt HY, Veolia Environnement Q1, Virgin Money UK HY trading update, Vodafone FY

Wednesday

  • Barratt Developments and Redrow hold separate general meetings for shareholders to vote on their proposed merger

  • International Energy Agency Oil Market Report

  • EU: Spring economic forecast for inflation, GDP, employment and public finances, plus a preliminary Q1 GDP estimate

  • Russia: Q1 GDP estimate

  • US: April CPI inflation rate and retail sales figures. Also, May NAHB Housing Market Index

  • Results: ABN Amro Q1, Allianz Q1, Britvic HY, Burberry FY, Cisco Systems Q3, Commerzbank Q1, Compass HY, Eon Q1, Experian FY, Imperial Brands HY, Keller AGM trading update, Marshalls AGM trading update, Mitchells & Butlers HY, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial FY, RWE Q1, Thyssenkrupp HY, TP ICAP Q1 trading update, Tui HY

Thursday

  • Bank of England monetary policy committee external member Megan Greene speaks at Make UK on the current state of Britain’s labour market

  • EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni speaks at the Brussels Economic Forum

  • Japan: preliminary Q1 GDP estimate

  • US: April housing starts and industrial production data

  • Results: Aegon Q1, Applied Materials Q2, BT FY, Deutsche Telekom Q1, easyJet HY, Grainger plc HY, Helios Towers Q1, JD.com Q1, Premier Foods FY, Sage HY, Siemens Q2, Swiss Re Q1, Take-Two Interactive Q4, Tullow Oil AGM trading update, United Utilities FY, Vistry AGM trading update, Walmart Q1, Zurich Insurance Q1

Friday

  • European Central Bank vice-president Luis de Guindos gives the opening speech at IESE Business School’s Banking Sector Meeting: Surfing the Wave of Uncertainty at its Madrid campus

  • Bank of England monetary policy committee member Catherine Mann speaks at the annual ESCoE Conference on Economic Measurement, held in partnership with the Office for National Statistics, at Alliance Manchester Business School

  • Larry Kellner steps down as Boeing chair at the end of the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting to be succeeded by Steve Mollenkopf. Boeing is currently seeking to replace chief executive Dave Calhoun, who will step down at the end of the year

  • China: April retail sales and industrial output figures, plus April House Price Index

  • France: Q1 unemployment figures

  • Germany: Q1 labour market statistics

  • Russia: April CPI inflation rate data

  • UK: monthly insolvency figures

  • Results: Engie Q1, Land Securities FY

World events

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

Monday

  • France: President Emmanuel Macron hosts the seventh annual Choose France International Business Summit in Versailles to attract foreign investment

  • Sweden: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz holds a joint meeting with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, Icelandic Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson at the start of a two-day state visit

  • Switzerland: Eight watches from the collection of legendary Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher will go under the hammer at Christie’s auction in Geneva

  • US: Bill Hwang’s fraud trial over the collapse of his $36bn Archegos Capital Management is expected to begin in the Manhattan federal court. Former Archegos chief financial officer Patrick Halligan is also expected to go on trial. Click here for the FT’s Behind the Money podcast on the story

Tuesday

  • EU: Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels

  • France: 77th Cannes Film Festival opens, running until May 25. The honorary Palme d’Or award this year will go to Star Wars producer George Lucas

  • Russia: Supreme Court decides on the appeal by dissident Vladimir Kara-Murza, a dual Russian-British citizen, who has condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine and lobbied for western sanctions against Moscow

  • US: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, currently the subject of a criminal trial in Manhattan, is due to host a fundraising dinner in New York, hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald chief executive Howard Lutnick, alongside hedge fund investor John Paulson and New York Jets owner Woody Johnson

Wednesday

  • Buddha’s Birthday, national holiday in many Asian countries

  • Palestinian “Day of the Catastrophe”, so called because it represents the day after Israel declared independence in 1948

  • Singapore: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong steps down to be replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, the country’s finance minister

Thursday

  • International Day of Living Together in Peace, created by the UN following a resolution adopted in December 2017

  • Bahrain: Arab League summit begins, bringing together heads of state from the 22 member states

  • Belgium: Nato’s highest military authority, the Military Committee, gathers in Brussels for a meeting, also attended by the Ukrainian chief of defence

  • UK: six people appear in plea hearing charged with spying after a Met Police Counter Terrorism Command investigation into alleged espionage linked to the Russian state

Friday

  • Japan: 11th World Para Athletics Championships open in Kobe

  • Peru: Apec trade ministers begin a two-day meeting in Arequipa

  • Thailand: 74th Fifa congress, the legislative arm of international football’s governing body, meets in Bangkok, with a vote to pick the hosts for the 2027 Women’s World Cup from Brazil, a combined Germany-Belgium-Netherlands bid and Mexico-USA

Saturday

Sunday

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