The week ahead

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

From one shortened week to another. It has been an action-packed week, perhaps because markets are off on 18 April for Good Friday. Stock markets have found their footing again, helped by some good earnings and a fairly dovish speech from Janet Yellen. At the close of the week, we have had good numbers from both Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, which helps to alleviate some of the negativity that arose from Goldman Sachs’s earnings. There are still macro risks, as the crisis in eastern Ukraine rumbles on, but investors are looking set to end the week in a more bullish form than they began it.


Economic reports


No major events


US existing home sales, Mar; Richmond Fed manufacturing index, Apr (3pm): Existing home sales help to provide a gauge of how the housing market is progressing in the US, while the Richmond Fed index provides a survey of regional manufacturing, with a particular emphasis on how inflation is faring. Markets to watch: Wall Street, US 500 and dollar currency crosses


Australian CPI, Q1 (1.30am): The quarterly CPI from Australia could help determine whether AUD/USD continues its current rally. The last reading was 2.7%, and the year-on-year forecast is for growth to accelerate to 3.2%. Market to watch: AUD/USD

China HSBC flash manufacturing PMI, Apr (2.45am): Investment bank HSBC will publish its latest reading on Chinese manufacturing. It is expected to strengthen to 48.5 from 48, but still remain in contraction territory, below 50. Market to watch: AUD/USD, FTSE 100

Eurozone PMIs, Apr (7am – 9am): The surveys of the manufacturing and services sectors in the eurozone and several member countries will indicate whether the economic recovery in the currency union is still progressing. Broad expectations are for the readings to remain unchanged. Market to watch: EUR/USD

Bank of England minutes, (9.30am): BoE minutes are more interesting than the actual meeting, but only just. Broadly, the committee is still not about to increase rates soon, despite the continued rise in the pound. Market to watch: GBP/USD

US Markit manufacturing PMI, Apr (2.45pm); new home sales, Mar (3pm): The Markit manufacturing PMI is forecast to strengthen from 55.5 to 56.3, while home sales are expected to rise to 455K from 440K last month. Market to watch: Wall Street, US 500 and dollar currency crosses

Bank of New Zealand rate decision, Apr (10pm): The New Zealand central bank became the first western central bank to increase rates. However, they are not expected to continue this move with further hikes. Market to watch: NZD/USD


German IFO index Apr, 9am: This covers business sentiment in Germany. Stronger readings indicate improving sentiment. Market to watch: EUR/USD

US durable goods, Mar and weekly jobless claims, (1.30pm): Durable goods orders last month showed that increased airline orders were buoying US industry. Meanwhile, jobless claims continue to drop towards 300,000. Market to watch: Wall Street, US 500 and dollar currency crosses


Japanese CPI, Mar (12.30am): Price growth in Japan is forecast to rise to 1.7% from 1.5% in March, which may help lift the yen. This is in accordance with the Abenomics policy of the government and central bank. Market to watch: USD/JPY, Japan 225

UK retail sales, Mar (9.30am): Year-on-year growth of 3.7% in February is expected to accelerate to 3.8%. This could give a further lift to the pound, which is at $1.68 against the US dollar at the time of writing. Market to watch: GBP/USD

US Markit services and composite PMI, Apr (2.45pm); US Michigan confidence index, Apr final (2.55pm): The final PMIs of the week measure growth in the US services sector and in the services and manufacturing sectors combined. Meanwhile, the confidence index is forecast to rise slightly, to 83 from 82.6, in the final reading for the month of April. Market to watch: US dollar crosses


Company announcements


Halliburton, Netflix, Hasbro


Lockheed Martin, McDonald's, Xerox, Yum Brands, AT&T


AmecAppleAssociated British Foods, Reed Elsevier, Northrup Grumman, Boeing, Procter & Gamble, Dow Chemical, Texas Instruments, Facebook


AstraZeneca, Anglo American, African Barrick Gold, Travis Perkins, Unilever, Severn Trent, Coca Cola, Time Warner, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Southwest Airlines, Caterpillar, AmazonMicrosoft, General Motors


WPP, William Hill, Pearson, Ford


As can be seen, it is a busy week! Earnings season has had a broadly positive feeling. High points this week include Goldman Sachs, but Google disappointed with its figures. 

(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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