Brexit comes into view now that the drama over the ACA was ended on Friday when the bill was canceled to avoid a “no” vote, as neither Trump nor Ryan could muster sufficient support. Triggering Article 50 on Brexit shouldn’t have any immediate consequences as this just kicks off the negotiation process. Meanwhile, investors will remain focused on the U.S. political process and investors will have to assess the possible damage from the ACA defeat, and whether it endangers the rest of the Trump agenda, or instead if it will allow the president to turn his full attention to tax reform, deregulation, and fiscal stimulus, policies that are more important to the markets.
United States: U.S. markets this week will try to assess the consequences of the ACA defeat and what it means for the future of the Trump agenda. Wall Street did manage to pare losses into Friday’s close after the ACA bill was pulled, rather than be put up to a certain “no” vote, as President Trump indicated he’d move on to tax reform, deregulation, and stimulus. As for data, housing and manufacturing reports dominate, but income, consumption and confidence numbers should be more market moving. The March Dallas Fed’s manufacturing index opens the week’s calendar (Monday). March consumer confidence (Tuesday) is expected to drop to 114.0 after the 3.2-point jump to a cycle high of 114.8 in February. The index has been on the rise since November. Also on tap Tuesday are the January Case-Shiller home price report and the Richmond Fed index. February pending home sales are due Wednesday. The third report on Q4 GDP (Thursday) should show a downward revision to a 1.8% pace from the 1.9% prior rate. February personal income (Friday) should post a 0.4% gain, with consumption edging up 0.2%, the same as in January. The Chicago PMI is also due (Friday.
Canada: Bank of Canada Governor Poloz (Tuesday) speaks on “Canada’s economic history,” which will be followed by a press conference. January GDP (Friday) is expected to expand 0.3% m/m after the 0.3% gain in December, as Canada’s economy maintains momentum. The industrial product price index (Thursday) is seen rising 0.1% m/m in February on the heels of the 0.4% bounce in January. The CFIB’s Business Barometer (Thursday) will provide a reading on the sentiment of small and medium sized firms in March.
Europe: Not much will be happening this week. The U.K. will officially notify EU officials, who in turn will acknowledge the request, before tasking negotiators with drafting guidelines, which then will have to be agreed upon by the remaining EU members before talks can officially start. With Easter coming up and the French election also on the agenda, and after already waiting 9 months, EU officials don’t seem inclined to rush anything now. The first Brexit summit is reportedly scheduled for a month after the U.K officially triggers Article 50, but the key phase could well only start in October, when the German election is also out of the way.This week’s pretty full calendar focuses on March confidence reading as well as preliminary March inflation data. After the surprisingly strong PMI readings and the improvement in preliminary Eurozone consumer confidence, an improvement in the German Ifo Business Climate index today is expected to 111.2 from 111.0 in the previous month. PMI readings suggest that the recovery is in the Eurozone is not just strengthening but broadening, hence ESI Economic Confidence (Wednesday) expected to rise to 108.2 from 108.0 in the previous month. We will see German HICP inflation on Thursday. This expected to leave overall Eurozone HICP (Friday) at 1.8% y/y down from 2.0% y/y in February. The calendar also has February retail sales data and import price inflation from Germany as well as French consumer spending and PPI data.
UK: This will be the week that the UK government will finally invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to formerly begin the provisional two-year negotiation period to agree on divorcing terms with the EU. The day will be Wednesday, March 29th. Things won’t happen quickly given the bureaucracy of the 27-member EU (excluding the UK), and, illustrating this, President of the EU Council, Tusk, said last week that members will hold a Brexit summit on April 29 (which is a week after the first round of the French presidential election). The calendar this week features the third estimate on Q4 GDP (Friday), expected to be reaffirmed at 0.7% q/q and 2.0% y/y growth. March data on consumer confidence (also Friday) and February lending figures from the BoE (Wednesday) are also due.
Japan: In Japan, the heavy data week will be important for the outlook as the fiscal year gets closer. Inflation, sales, and production numbers will be key. February services PPI (Monday) is expected to cool to 0.4% y/y from 0.5% y/y in January and December. February retail sales (Wednesday) are seen falling 1.5% after a 1.1% drop for larger retailers. That would be a 7th straight monthly decline. But, overall sales are projected rising 1.3% following the prior 1.0% gain. The remainder of releases are due Friday, starting with CPI. February housing starts and construction orders round out the calendar.
Australia: Australia’s calendar is sparse this week. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s Deputy Governor Debelle speaks at the FX Week Australia conference (Thursday). Private sector credit for February is due Friday.
New Zealand: February building permits are a lone highlight, due Friday. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand next meets on May 11.
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