The week ahead

A look ahead to the major events, economic releases and company news expected next week.

In the week to come, we have plenty of economic data. Not only is the all-important non-farm payrolls on the list, but we also have global PMI data for the manufacturing and services industries. It will be a very handy way of assessing the current outlook for the global economy as a whole.

We had a volatile week for markets, but overall it looks for now as if the bulls are back in charge. The FTSE 100 is above the 6600 level once again, despite the best efforts of the insurance sector to carry it lower. Some month-end buying may have helped, but strong GDP and retail sales figures suggest the UK economy is on track. Meanwhile, the diminishing crisis in Ukraine and the prospect of an eventual rise in US rates have meant that gold and silver are firmly in retreat, with the highs of February now just a distant memory.

Economic reports


Eurozone CPI, March (9am): Expectations are for price growth of 0.6% year-on-year. Weaker growth than this may reinforce the expectation of quantitative easing by the European Central Bank. Friday morning’s Spanish inflation data, which showed the country moving into deflation territory, was a worrying sign of what might come. Market to watch: EUR/USD

Chicago PMI, March (1.45pm): The survey of industrial managers in the Chicago region assesses the prospects for growth. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. The most recent figure was 59.8, and the forecast is for this to drop back slightly, to 58.5. Market to watch: Wall Street


RBA rate decision (3.30am): The Australian central bank publishes its decision on interest rates in the early morning. No change is expected. Market to watch: AUD/USD, EUR/USD

‘Global Manufacturing PMI Day’: Manufacturing PMIs from around the world are announced throughout the day, kicking off with China, then Europe and finishing in the US:

1am-1.45am – China manufacturing PMIs
7.45-8.30am – Eurozone PMIs
8.30am – UK manufacturing PMI
12.58pm – US manufacturing PMI
2pm – US ISM manufacturing index

Markets to watch: Home currencies and stock markets of these nations. The most important will be China and the US


UK construction sector PMI, March (8.30am): Construction is the smallest sector of the UK economy to have a PMI figure, but it still provides a useful clue as to the health of the economy. Market to watch: GBP/USD

ADP employment, March (12.15pm): This is a private payroll number that is the precursor to Friday’s non-farm payrolls. We are expecting an increase in 190,000 jobs, up from February’s 135,000. Market to watch: Wall Street, and the USD crosses in FX

Factory orders, February (2pm): Like PMIs, factory orders help us to gauge the current strength of the US economy. Market to watch: Wall Street


‘Global Services PMI Day’: Non-manufacturing sectors get their chance to shine. Again, China opens the batting, followed by Europe, the UK and then the US. The most important will be China and the US:
1am-1.45 am – China
7.45-8.30am- Europe
8.30am – UK
1.45pm/2pm – US

Markets to watch: Home currencies and stock markets of these nations.

ECB rate decision (11.45am): No change is expected from the European Central Bank, but the declining rate of inflation may force their hand eventually: Market to watch: EUR/USD

US weekly jobless claims (12.30pm): The final prelude to Friday’s non-farm payrolls. Market to watch: US dollar, and US indices


Non-farm payrolls, March (12.30pm): We’re expecting 190,000 jobs to have been added in March. The unemployment rate is forecast to drop to 6.6%. It is wise simply to watch the markets around this time and wait for the excitement to die away. Market to watch: Everything!


Company announcements


ICAP, Aberdeen Asset Management


Domino's Pizza, Booker Group


Tate & Lyle, International Consolidated Air (IAG), Inchcape, Amec


Sports Direct, easyJet, United Utilities, Severn Trent, Pennon


All times London time.

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