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BP profits in sharp focus after rival's poor results

Oil giant BP takes its turn in the spotlight this week as the full-year results season picks up pace.

Falling oil industry profits will be in focus again tomorrow when BP posts latest figures after a gloomy set of results from rival Royal Dutch Shell.

BP is grappling with the vast costs of the Gulf of Mexico disaster in 2010, which left 11 workers dead. Analysts are expecting BP's fourth quarter profits to sink 27% lower to $2.7 billion (£1.6bn).

Thursday's update from Thomson and First Choice parent TUI Travel will be looked to for signs of a possible surge in early holiday bookings as many are spurred on to secure their fix of the summer sun after January's record rainfall.

Trading in China is likely to remain a key issue for drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline on Wednesday after allegations of bribery and corruption sent Chinese sales plunging by 61% in the third quarter. Glaxo has been under pressure since it emerged last summer that Chinese authorities were investigating bribery by its staff - which allegedly saw as much as £324 million paid through travel agencies to doctors and health officials to boost sales.

Glaxo's rival AstraZeneca reports its full-year figures on Thursday and is set to reveal an ongoing hit from a raft of drug patent losses.

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