It doesn’t get any busier than this week. Traders will focus on the FOMC decision, but they should also closely watch mega-cap tech earnings, and the nonfarm payroll report.
The Fed is expected to continue slowing their rate hiking pace with a small 25 basis point rate rise. Disinflation trends are clearly here, but Core PCE suggest price pressures are coming and the labor market refuses to break and could prompt the Fed to remain vigilant with its inflation fight.
The nonfarm payroll report is still expected to show job growth of 175K, even as we hear of multiple reports of layoffs announcements across tech, finance, and real estate. Most of the layoffs will happen throughout the next couple of quarters, so we still could see another better-than-expected jobs number.
Earnings season gets chaotic as Wall Street will get results from Advanced Micro Devices, Alphabet, Amazon, Amgen, Apple, Canadian Pacific Railway, Cigna, ConocoPhillips, Deutsche Bank, Exxon Mobil, Ferrari, Ford Motor, General Motors, Gilead Sciences, GSK, Hershey, Honeywell International, Humana, McDonald’s, McKesson, Merck, Meta Platforms, Novartis, Qualcomm, Samsung SDI, Sanofi, Shell, SoftBank, Sony Group, Starbucks, T-Mobile, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and United Parcel Service
Three events stand out next week, the most obvious being the ECB meeting on Thursday. While the rate decision is what everyone will be waiting for, the flash inflation data on Wednesday and GDP on Tuesday could have some influence on whether the central bank will seek to soften its hawkish message. A 50 basis point hike is mostly priced in but what comes next is less certain at this point.
The Bank of England has a particularly tough decision over the coming months. On the one hand, inflation is above 10% and the economy likely didn’t fall into recession in the second half of last year, to the surprise of many. On the other, inflation has decelerated in the last two months and the November GDP data probably delayed the inevitable rather than making it less likely. The outlook remains bleak, how the BoE navigates is still highly uncertain. And next week brings the monetary policy report containing the latest forecasts from the central bank. The majority of analysts expect them to raise rates by 50bp to 4.00%, while a minority are eyeing a 25bp hike.
Unemployment on Monday and a couple of PMI reports are the only highlights next week. That aside, focus will remain on events in Ukraine.
The whole economy’s PMI is the only highlight next week.
Official inflation data is the main release next week but this has become more of a political focus in recent years than an economic one, as the central bank pays very little attention to it. Inflation is expected to slow towards low-50s, potentially making it to the 30s by the end of the year.
A few notable pieces of economic data next week including the leading indicator, retail sales and PMI survey.
China markets reopen after the Lunar Year Holiday and traders await to see how much economic activity improved last month after they began rolling back some COVID restrictions. Traders will pay close attention to the official government manufacturing PMI reading which could come close to returning to expansion territory. The services PMI is expected to post a strong rebound from 41.6 to 51.5.
The focus will fall on the Indian government’s budget which should focus on deficit reduction. Economic data releases include India’s fiscal deficit, eight infrastructure industries and both manufacturing and services PMIs.
Australia & New Zealand
China’s COVID reopening has supported both Australian and New Zealand dollars significantly. Much attention will go towards China’s PMI data readings. For Australia, the economic calendar contains the December retail sales report that should show spending is cooling, building approvals are expected to rebound, and the NAB business confidence report.
The New Zealand economic calendar contains the fourth quarter employment report, the December building permits, and ANZ consumer confidence.
The pressure of the sharp depreciation of the yen in the past has eased somewhat and the reopening of China should support the start of a recovery in the Japan economy in the first half of this year. The next BoJ meeting in March will be the last meeting of Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s term of office. Bank of Japan governor candidate Takatoshi Ito recently said that if the BoJ abandons yield curve control, it will need to conduct a comprehensive review of its policy framework.
Next week will focus on the jobless rate, retail sales, industrial production, housing starts data, and PMI readings.
It will be a busy week of data for Singapore. Economic releases include money supply data, unemployment rate, PMI data, and retail sales.
Crude prices are poised to finish the week on a strong note as global recession fears are countered by optimism that China’s reopening momentum will continue and over economic data that suggests large parts of the US economy remains strong. The upcoming week has two massive events; the OPEC+ virtual meeting on output and the FOMC decision. The OPEC+ meeting might be easy with a decision to keep output steady as they await what happens with the short-term global demand outlook.
Traders will also pay close attention to earnings from both Exxon and Shell.
Gold prices are consolidating leading up to the FOMC decision. Next week, the Fed is likely to shift from a 50bp hike pace to just a quarter point rate rise, but still will say that more could come. Gold’s outlook for the rest of the year is turning rather bullish for some investors, but a lot of that hinges inflation steadily falling back below 3.0%.
Cryptos continue to benefit from the broad risk rebound across Wall Street. The Fed is nearing the end of its rate hiking cycle and that has helped all interest rate sensitive assets to start the New Year. The headlines across the crypto space have not all been doom gloom as Moody’s works on a scoring system for stablecoins, Amazon has a NFT initiative, and as some firms successfully raise money. Bitcoin has major resistance at the $24,000 level, so momentum traders will closely watch to see how prices behave post-FOMC decision. Given where inflation stands, the Fed will likely remain hesitant that a pause is imminent and lean more towards staying hawkish. If the Fed follows the lead from the BOC and signals they are almost done with rate rises, Bitcoin could tentatively break past $24,000.
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