Week Ahead

Minutes from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank will be in the spotlight next week, while the Reserve Bank of Australia will be deciding on monetary policy.

Investors will also keep an eye on developments surrounding US presidential election as Pence and Harris face off in the Vice Presidential debate and President Trump remains in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. On the economic data front, important releases include US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI and foreign trade, UK monthly GDP, Eurozone retail sales, Germany factory output and orders, Japan current account, Australia business morale and worldwide services PMI surveys.

In the US, the minutes from the last FOMC meeting are due Wednesday, with investors hoping they might provide some clarity on policymakers’ next move. In September, the Federal Reserve signaled it would hold interest rates at record low levels through at least 2023, to help the economy recover from the pandemic shock.

The ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI survey should signal a slowdown in service activity growth during September amid the coronavirus crisis and uncertainty surrounding the November presidential election. At the same time, the weekly jobless claims report is expected to show that another 823 thousand workers filled for unemployment benefits. That would be the sixth consecutive week with claims stuck at the 800 thousand level, pointing to a slowdown in the labor market recovery. Other notable publications are foreign trade, JOLTs Job Openings, and the final readings of Markit Services PMI and wholesale inventories.

Elsewhere in America, key data to follow include Canada employment figures, trade balance, Ivey PMI and housing starts; Mexico consumer prices and household sentiment; and Brazil inflation rate, retail sales and Markit Services PMI. The central bank of Mexico is also set to publish its monetary policy meeting minutes.

Meanwhile, the UK economic calendar is packed with key updates on monthly GDP data, including manufacturing and construction output, foreign trade, Markit Construction PMI, Halifax house prices, new car sales, and the final readings of Markit Services PMI and second-quarter labour productivity. Britain’s economic recovery is set to continue in August, with previously constrained sectors like hotels and restaurants being supported by government schemes such as Eat Out to Help Out.

Elsewhere in Europe, the ECB will probably flag further monetary easing when it publishes the account of September’s policy meeting on Thursday. The Eurozone inflation rate fell deeper into negative territory last month, raising concerns about the region’s economic recovery. Meanwhile, ECB President Christine Lagarde signaled a change to the central bank’s strategy, leaving the door open to tweak the 2 percent inflation target.

Key economic data to follow include the Eurozone retail sales and the final reading of Markit Services PMI; Germany factory orders, industrial production and trade balance; France industrial output and foreign trade; Spain consumer morale; Italy retail trade and industrial production; Switzerland unemployment rate; and Turkey, Russia, the Netherlands and Ireland inflation rates. Poland’s central bank will probably leave monetary policy unchanged when it meets on Wednesday.

In Asia, China will publish its Caixin Services PMI for September, providing an insight of the post-pandemic economic recovery. Meanwhile in Japan, the Jibun Bank will be releasing its final reading for September’s Services PMI. Other important releases include current account, Eco Watchers survey and household spending.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will hold its monetary policy meeting on Tuesday, but no changes are expected. On the economic data front, investors will turn their attention to trade balance, NAB business confidence, Ai Group services and construction indexes, and the final estimate of September’s Markit Services PMI.

Other key data for the Asia-Pacific region include: South Korea inflation rate, Markit Manufacturing PMI and current account; India Markit Services PMI; Taiwan and the Philippines trade balance figures and consumer prices; and Thailand consumer confidence and inflation.

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