The Lloyds share price has been in a tight range as investors watch the strength of the UK economy and the upcoming earnings. However, the stock is trading at 50.92p, about 14% below the highest level in January this year.
UK economic strength continues
Lloyds Bank is a leading financial institution in the UK that serves millions of people through its eponymous brand and other subsidiaries like Scottish Widows, Halifax, and Bank of Scotland. However, unlike other leading banks like Barclays and HSBC, Lloyds has a minimal presence abroad, and it offers mostly retail banking. Therefore, the company is often seen as a good proxy or barometer of the UK economy.
Recent data have painted a picture of an economy doing substantially well. For example, the unemployment rate has dropped to about 4.1%, which is slightly above where it was before the pandemic started. Further, the country’s inflation rate has soared to the highest level in more than 30 years, while home prices have jumped to the highest level on record.
This explains why Lloyds share price has done well in the past few months. It has risen by more than 30% in the past 12 months and outperformed other banks like HSBC and Standard Chartered. Furthermore, the bank will benefit marginally as the Bank of England continues tightening.
Lloyds Bank earnings preview
The next key catalyst for the LLOY share price will be the quarterly earnings scheduled for February 24. Analysts expect that the bank did extremely well in the fourth quarter, even as the Omicron variant spread.
There are several reasons to believe this. First, data shows that the important housing market continued to fire on all cylinders in Q4. This is notable since Lloyds is the biggest mortgage lender in the UK.
Second, the retail sector also performed well. Most importantly, recent financial results from other global banking peers have been strong lately. For example, companies like Goldman Sachs, Société Generale, and Deutsche Bank published strong results. While all these banks are different, there is a likelihood that Lloyds will replicate their performance.
In addition to the headline earnings, investors will focus on Lloyds dividends. The bank restated its dividend payouts in the second quarter of 2021 after the Bank of England gave its go-ahead. With financial and economic conditions improving, there is a likelihood that the bank will continue boosting its payouts in the coming months. Further, investors will listen to the strategic update by the new CEO. In it, he will provide more details about what he plans to do for the bank.
Lloyds share price forecast
The daily chart shows that the LLOY share price has been under pressure in the past few days. The current price is about 9% below the highest level this year. However, a closer look shows that the shares have moved to the 25-day and 50-day moving averages while the Relative Strength Index (RSI) has been in a bearish trend.
Also, it seems like the stock has formed a small double-top pattern. This means that there is a likelihood that the stock will retreat after the company publishes its quarterly results this week. The next reference level to watch will be at about 49.22p, which was the lowest level on January 22. This view will be invalidated if the price moves above 53p.