Week Ahead

The first-quarter earnings season continues next week, with companies such as IBM, Netflix, Intel, Johnson & Johnson and P&G reporting their results. Elsewhere, flash PMI surveys for the US, UK, Eurozone, Japan and Australia will be keenly watched, while central banks in the Euro Area, China, Indonesia, Canada and Russia will be deciding on monetary policy. Other key data to follow include: US existing and new home sales; UK inflation data and unemployment rate; Eurozone consumer confidence; Japan trade balance and inflation; and Australia retail sales.

Investors in the US will turn their attention to the Markit PMI survey, with forecasts suggesting the private sector activity expanded in April at a record pace, helped by the lifting of pandemic business restrictions in many states and the government’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package. Other notable publications include existing and new home sales, Chicago Fed National Activity Index and the weekly jobless claims report.

On the corporate front, the first-quarter earnings season continues, with reports to watch including those from IBM, Netflix, Intel, Snap, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola Co, Philip Morris International, American Express, Verizon Communications, AT&T and Schlumberger.

Elsewhere in America, policymakers in Canada will probably leave interest rates at record-low levels when they meet on Wednesday. Important data to follow include Canada inflation rate, new house prices, housing starts, and the flash estimate of wholesale sales; as well as Mexico jobless rate and retail trade; and Brazil consumer morale.

Across the Atlantic, Britain’s economic calendar is packed with key updates on unemployment and wage growth, alongside inflation data, retail trade, and business and consumer morale. In addition, flash Markit PMI figures for April will probably show solid increases in both manufacturing output and services activity, amid strong economic re-opening.

Elsewhere in Europe, the ECB will deliver its latest monetary policy decision, but no changes are expected, as officials take a wait and see approach after last month’s decision to conduct emergency bond purchases at a significantly higher pace over the April-June period.

Flash Markit PMI figures for the Eurozone, Germany and France will also be in the spotlight, with forecasts suggesting the bloc’s factory activity growth slowed after hitting a record high in March and the services sector remained in contraction for an eighth consecutive month. Traders also await the release of the Euro Area 2020 public finances data, flash consumer confidence and construction output; Germany producer prices; France business survey; and Turkey consumer confidence. Russia’s central bank is seen hiking interest rates by 25bps when it meets on Friday.

In Asia, the People’s Bank of China will provide an update on its new loan prime rate (LPR) on Tuesday, which was kept steady at 3.85 percent last month; while in Japan, key economic data to follow include Jibun Bank’s flash PMI survey, trade balance and inflation rate.

Investors in Australia will be following retail sales and flash Markit PMIs; while New Zealand is releasing first-quarter inflation rate.

Other highlights for the Asia-Pacific region include: Hong Kong unemployment and inflation rate; Taiwan export orders, jobless rate and industrial output; Thailand trade balance; Singapore and Malaysia consumer prices. Indonesia’s central bank will also be deciding on interest rates.