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Key events to watch in the week ahead: 24-28 April 2023

As the US earnings kicks into high gear, what are some of the key events to watch next week?

US Source: Bloomberg

This week’s overview

The US earnings season has been lined with hits and misses thus far, forcing some indecision for the major US indices over the past two weeks. Growth fears have kept risk sentiments in check, but it may take a breakdown of the indices’ respective April lows to provide greater conviction that a wider retracement is in place. Heading into the new week, here are some of the key events to watch:

24-28 April 2023: US earnings season

The US earnings will shift into higher gear next week, with notable earning releases out of several big tech companies (Alphabet, Microsoft, Meta Platforms,, which have a significant weightage in the broader indices.

Thus far, beaten-down expectations have allowed room for some positive surprises. Out of the 17% of S&P 500 companies which have reported their results, 76% have surpassed earnings expectations. That said, outlook will be the key focus as well, with downside risks to growth suggesting that earnings will continue to remain under pressure, without the worst in sight.

With the S&P 500 and Nasdaq locked within a period of indecision, the big tech earnings will be a key catalyst to determine if a new higher high can be established next week.

Mean Earnings Estimate Source: Refinitiv

26 April 2023 (Wednesday, 9.30am SGT): Australia’s Q1 inflation rate

The recent minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have delivered a hawkish takeaway, with the prospects of further rate hikes being discussed by policymakers before eventually settling with a pause. That signalled some intention for further adjustment in rates into restrictive territory if inflation were to surprise to the upside.

Current expectations are for Australia’s Q1 inflation rate to turn in at 6.9% year-on-year, down from the previous quarter’s 7.8%. An upside inflation surprise to indicate some pricing persistence is likely to build the case for another 25 basis-point hike from the RBA in May.

With the AUD/USD trading within its near-term ascending channel pattern on the four-hour chart, much will depend on whether the 0.678 resistance level may be broken ahead. Any subsequent move above the 0.678 level could pave the way to retest the 0.691 level next.

AUD/USD Mini Source: IG charts

27 April 2023 (Thursday, 8.30pm SGT): US Q1 GDP growth rate (Advance estimate)

The advance estimate for US Q1 gross domestic products (GDP) growth rate is expected to reveal the initial impact from the recent banking fallout, which will be looked upon to guide expectations of a soft landing in the US economy. The current consensus is for a 2% growth from the previous quarter, down from 2.6% in Q4 2022.

A lower-than-expected read is likely to translate into wider growth concerns for the US economy, at a time where recent US growth data has been surprising to the downside. A look at the US economic surprise index has revealed a sharp decline over the past one month.

28 April 2023 (Friday, 11.00am SGT): Bank of Japan (BoJ) interest rate decision

The lack of any upside inflation surprise over the past five months seems to provide some justification for the BoJ to stand pat on its policy for now, as rate expectations were not pricing for any hike over the next four meetings. The new Governor has also been repeating that he expects inflation to drop from around September/October, so that could point towards some wait-and-see until then.

The USD/JPY (大口) will be in focus, having recently formed a new higher low while a reversion in moving average convergence/divergence (MACD) to positive territory suggests building upward momentum. That said, much resistance lies ahead, which includes its key 200-day moving average (MA) and the 138.00 horizontal resistance. These must be overcome to establish a renewed uptrend. Narrowing yield differentials between Japan and US 10-year government bonds will be a weighing factor to restrict further upside as well.

USD/JPY Mini Source: IG charts

28 April 2023 (Friday, 8.30pm SGT): US core PCE price index

With the core Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index being the Federal Reserves’ (Fed) preferred inflation measure, the data will determine if the Fed has the room to signal for an impending rate pause at the May meeting. Consensus is for the index to turn in a 4.6% year-on-year increase, unchanged from the previous month.

While expectations are priced for a 25 basis-point hike in the upcoming Fed meeting, any upside surprise in the inflation data could potentially open the door for another rate hike in June. Any need for further hawkish recalibration in rate expectations will likely provide support for the US dollar, while keeping risk sentiments on a more downbeat tone.

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