Week Ahead

Next week, focus will again remain on cornovarius developments. As the virus hit transport, travel and tourism sectors all over the world, investors will be waiting for more stimulus measures from central banks and governments.

The ECB holds monetary policy meeting on Thursday and UK will publish Spring Budget for 2020 on Wendesday. In the US, main releases include inflation and consumer confidence data. Other important events to be followed are UK monthly GDP, Eurozone and Japan final Q4 GDP figures; Germany industrial output; China consumer and producer inflation; Australia business and consumer morale; and India inflation and industrial production.

The US consumer price inflation is seen slowing to 2.3 percent in February from 2.5 percent the month before, which was the highest since October 2018. In addition, the preliminary reading of Michigan consumer sentiment is expected to point to a sharp deterioration in consumer morale during March as the spread of coronavirus in the country accelerated, which triggered an unscheduled Fed interest rate cut this week. Other notable publications are producer and foreign trade prices and the government’s budget statement.

Elsewhere in America, key data to follow include Canada building permits and housing starts, and Mexico and Brazil industrial output and inflation rates.

Meanwhile, all eyes turn to Britain’s first post-Brexit budget on Wednesday as finance minister Rishi Sunak announces the tax and spending plans of the new government in parliament. PM Boris Johnson’s election pledges included a cut in social security contributions and £100 billion more public investment by the mid-2020s, but uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak and the outcome of Brexit trade talks could lead to a reallocation of funds towards other priorities. On the economic data front, key releases are monthly GDP figures, manufacturing production, construction output and foreign trade.

Elsewhere in Europe, the ECB is likely to slash its deposit rate by 10bps to support the bloc’s economy in the fight against coronavirus. In terms of data, the Eurozone will be releasing the final estimate of fourth-quarter GDP figures, while Germany, France and Italy are set to publish industrial output data for January, with market forecasts pointing to rebounds in activity following steep falls in December. Traders will also keep an eye on Germany foreign trade, Switzerland and Turkey jobless rates, and Sweden and Ireland inflation rates.

In China, data to be published include consumer and producer prices, with forecasts pointing to a slowdown in inflation from January’s eight-year high while producer prices should fall back into deflationary territory amid the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, Japan’s final reading of fourth-quarter should show a steeper contraction than previously estimated. The country’s current account and Eco Watchers Survey will also be in the spotlight. Australia will be publishing NAB business confidence, Westpac consumer confidence and home loans; while traders in India will follow consumer inflation and industrial output.

Other key data for the Asia-Pacific region include: Taiwan trade balance; South Korea unemployment rate; Philippines foreign trade, Singapore unemployment and retail sales; Malaysia industrial production and unemployment rate; and New Zealand business NZ PMI.

Investors will also react to the IEA’s Oil Market Report and OPEC’s Monthly Report. Crude prices tumbled to the lowest level since 2016 after OPEC removed all limits on its own production in response to Russia’s refusal to agree on deeper oil cuts.

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