The week ahead

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

It has certainly been an exciting week. The most recent non-farms report was initially well-received by equity markets, but, soon after, a sell-off began in the NASDAQ that has continued all week. Federal Reserve minutes provided a brief respite, but the situation worsened as JPMorgan earnings came in below expectations. 




Economic reports


US retail sales, Mar (1.30pm): US consumers are one of the engines of the global economy, and this report will help us determine whether they’re more keen on opening their wallets. Expectations are for growth of 0.8%, from 0.3% in February. Markets to watch: US indices and dollar crosses


UK CPI, Mar (9.30am): Price growth in the UK is keenly-watched, especially since the Bank of England has a 2% target and it is now at 1.7%. Market to watch: GBP/USD

German ZEW, April (10am): The ZEW index is a survey of experts who provide their views on the German economy. The index is constructed as the number of positive responses minus negative responses. Markets to watch: DAX, EUR/USD

US CPI, Mar (1.30pm): US inflation reflects the purchasing power of the US dollar. If inflation is rising too quickly it will erode the ability of US consumers’ to purchase items. Expectations are for weak growth here. Markets to watch: Dollar crosses


China data (3am): Wednesday sees the publication of Chinese retail sales, industrial production and GDP figures. Recent Chinese data has been weaker, so these will be watched to see if the trend continues. Markets to watch: Asian indices, AUD/USD, FTSE 100, mining stocks

UK unemployment data (9.30am): The UK employment situation has continued to improve, helping GBP/USD to rally. Of particular note will be the growth in wages, especially given the CPI reading a day earlier. Market to watch: GBP/USD

Eurozone CPI, Mar (10am): Price growth in the eurozone has been weak at best, which has prompted European Central Bank warnings about persistently low inflation. Market to watch: EUR/USD

US housing starts and building permits: Surveys of home construction help to gauge the strength of the domestic US economy. Housing starts are expected to grow 6.7%, but building permits are forecast to decline 1.9%. Markets to watch: Dollar crosses

US Beige Book: This is an informal survey of managers across the US that is released a number of times a year. There are no predictions, but it will show whether industry and commerce are growing. Market to watch: US indices


US initial jobless claims: Weekly jobless claims can always be rather volatile, but the current direction is for a gradual trend lower. Markets to watch: Dollar crosses, US indices

US Philadelphia Fed index: This survey questions manufacturers in the region around Philadelphia. Higher production (and therefore a higher reading) usually means greater economic growth, which can usually be bullish for the US dollar and indices. Market to watch: US indices, dollar crosses


Good Friday (See our Easter opening hours)


Company announcements




JD Sports, Rio Tinto, SABMiller, Debenhams, GlaxoSmithKline, Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Intel


Bunzl, Persimmon, Tesco, BHP Billiton, Bank of America, IBM, American Express, Yahoo


Diageo, General Electric, PepsiCo, Goldman Sachs, Union Pacific


US earnings season will be in full swing next week. JPMorgan was a weak start for financials, but Alcoa (which reported on 9 April) was better than forecast in some respects.

(All times London time)

Here is a  list of US stocks that can also be traded outside New York Stock Exchange trading hours of 2.30pm to 9pm.


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