Week Ahead

The earnings season enters one of its busiest phases in the coming week, with Apple and Microsoft reporting, while central banks in the US and Canada will be deciding on monetary policy. Elsewhere, flash PMI surveys for the US, UK, Eurozone, Japan and Australia will be keenly watched, as well as Q4 GDP updates from the US, Germany, France, Spain, South Korea, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Other key data to follow include US PCE prices, personal income and outlays; Eurozone business survey; China industrial profits; and Australia and New Zealand Q4 inflation data.

In the US, the Federal Reserve will likely leave the fed funds rate steady when it meets for the first time this year, but investors expect the central bank to confirm that the rates will be raised in March with a balance sheet reduction later in the year. Traders will also look for any updates on the Fed’s view regarding the risks from the spread of the omicron variant and high inflation. On the data front, the advance estimate for the US GDP growth is expected to show a 5.6% expansion in Q4, much higher than 2.3% in Q3. Other important releases include flash Markit PMIs, personal income, spending and PCE prices, house prices from both FHFA and S&P/Case-Shiller and new and pending home sales. Meanwhile, the earnings season continues with reports from big tech names including Apple and Microsoft and 3M, American Express, GE, Intel, Boeing, AT&T, Tesla, Visa, Chevron, Caterpillar and McDonald’s.

Elsewhere in America, the Bank of Canada might raise interest rates by 25bps next week to curb rising inflation, while central banks in Chile, Colombia and Costa Rica will also be deciding on monetary policy. Important data to follow include the preliminary readings of Canada manufacturing and wholesale sales; Mexico trade balance, retail sales and economic activity; and Brazil jobless rate and current account.

In the UK, the flash Markit PMI survey will probably show the country’s private sector growth quickened from a 10-month low helped by an improvement in the services sector. Other data include CBI gauges for factory orders, business optimism and retail trade, as well as public sector net borrowing. Elsewhere in Europe, the Eurozone flash Markit PMI survey should point to the weakest pace of expansion in the bloc’s private sector output since the current phase of growth began in March dragged down by both manufacturing and services sectors. Meanwhile, Germany’s GDP probably slipped into contraction territory during the fourth quarter, while in France and Spain economic growth likely slowed due to the spread of Omicron, soaring energy prices and lingering supply disruptions. Other important releases include: Eurozone business survey; Germany business and consumer morale, and import prices; Switzerland foreign trade; and Turkey industry morale.

In Asia-Pacific, the week is going to be filled with PMI and GDP releases, with market participants waiting to assess the health of the economic recovery after the Omicron scare. Key data to watch for include China’s industrial profits, Japan’s Jibun Bank Composite PMI and Tokyo CPI, and fourth-quarter GDP figures for South Korea, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The economy of South Korea is expected to have expanded 0.9% in the last quarter of 2021, despite the resurgence of coronavirus infections, which likely hit the service sector the most; while the Philippines’ GDP likely grew 6.2% year-on-year during the same period. Investors in Australia turn their attention to fourth-quarter inflation data, NAB business confidence and flash Markit PMIs, with forecasts suggesting the trimmed mean measure of core inflation favored by the RBA likely increased to 2.4%, remaining within the central bank’s 2-3% target range for a second consecutive period. Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand will be releasing fourth-quarter consumer prices and trade balance. Other highlights in the region include Hong Kong, Malaysia and the Philippines foreign trade data, Thailand factory activity, Taiwan unemployment rate and industrial production, and Singapore consumer prices and manufacturing output.