The week ahead: 26-30 May

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

Record highs on the S&P 500 have been the dominant theme of the past week, although the usual month end ‘window dressing’ has played a part too. Even with a weak US GDP reading, markets have been fairly positive in sentiment terms, with the NASDAQ 100 clawing back the losses made in the early part of the year.

The week was a light one for economic news, and low volumes predominated, so it would be unwise to declare that the rally is back in full swing. The coming week sees both the European Central Bank meeting for June and non-farm payrolls, so there is still the chance of upsets for major indices.

Economic reports


Markit US manufacturing PMI (May, final), 2.45pm: The final reading of the index is not expected to change from 56.2, showing continued growth in American factories. Market to watch:  EUR/USDGBP/USDUSD/JPYDow JonesS&P 500

US ISM manufacturing (May), 3pm: This reading is expected to rise slightly to 55.5 from 54.9 in April. Market to watch: EUR/USDGBP/USDUSD/JPYDow JonesS&P 500


China HSBC manufacturing PMI (May, final), 2.45am: Manufacturing numbers in China are expected to hold steady at 49.7 for the final revision of this index. Market to watch: AUD/USD, FTSE 100, ASX 200, China A50, Copper

Reserve Bank of Australia rate decision (June), 5.30am: The Australian central bank is forecast to leave rates unchanged at 2.5% for the month. Market to watch: AUD/USD

UK construction PMI (May), 9.30am: Construction is the smallest part of the UK economy to be measured by a PMI, so its importance versus the services and manufacturing reading is limited, but the index is forecast to nudge higher to 61 from 60.8. Market to watch: GBP/USD

Eurozone CPI (May), 10am: Price growth in the eurozone is expected to be 0.7% for May, with the reading being particularly important ahead of the European Central Bank decision on Thursday. Market to watch: EUR/USD


Japan services PMI (May), 2.35am: No forecast data is available, but the reading will help gauge how well the economy is performing. Market to watch: Nikkei, USD/JPY

French, German, Eurozone services and composite PMIs (May, final), 8.50 – 9am: This swathe of eurozone data is not expected to change for the last reading of the month. Market to watch: EUR/USD, Germany 30, France 40

UK services and composite PMIs (May), 9.30am: Both of these readings are expected to weaken slightly from the April reading. Market to watch: GBP/USD

Eurozone GDP (Q1), 10am: Growth expectations for the region are forecast to stay at 0.2% quarter-on-quarter and 0.9% year-on-year. Market to watch: EUR/USD

ADP employment report (May), 1.15pm: This important precursor to Friday’s non-farm report is expected to show job growth of 218K, down slightly from 220K a month earlier. Market to watch: EUR/USDGBP/USDUSD/JPYDow JonesS&P 500

US services & composite PMI (May), 2.45pm: These are the final readings for these indices in the month, with little change forecast. Market to watch: EUR/USDGBP/USDUSD/JPYDow JonesS&P 500

Bank of Canada rate decision (June), 3pm: The latest decision on rates for Canada is not expected to see any change from the current 1%. Market to watch: USD/CAD

Federal Reserve Beige Book, 7pm: This is an informal, semi-annual survey of conditions in industries across the US, and helps gauge the strength of the US economy. Market to watch: EUR/USDGBP/USDUSD/JPYDow JonesS&P 500


China services & composite PMI (May), 2.45am: Given recent comments about weakness in China, these readings will be important to measure economic growth. Market to watch: China A50, AUD/USD, FTSE 100, Copper

Bank of England rate decision and asset purchase target (June), 12pm: Yet again, no change is forecast from Threadneedle Street, with rates unchanged at 0.5% being the consensus outcome. Market to watch: GBP/USD

European Central Bank decision (June), 12.45pm, press conference 1.30pm: The ECB decision is particularly important, as markets believe that the bank will take some form of action to push the euro down and attempt to boost inflation.  Market to watch: EUR/USD

US initial jobless claims, 1.30pm: Weekly claims are forecast to rise to 318K from the previous 300K. Market to watch: EUR/USDGBP/USDUSD/JPYDow JonesS&P 500


US non-farm payrolls (May), 1.30pm: The final event of the week is the big one, with the official US government estimate of job growth for May. The consensus is for growth of 218K, down from April’s strong 288K, while the unemployment rate is expected to rise from 6.3% to 6.4%. Look out for any revisions to the figure from the previous two months. Market to watch: EUR/USDGBP/USDUSD/JPYDow JonesS&P 500, FTSE 100 (plus all other major indices, FX and commodities)


Company announcements


Krispy Kreme


Dollar General




AO WorldJohnson Matthey


Fuller Smith & TurnerKcom


It’s a light week for company data, but Tesco’s Q1 Interim Management Statement is an important point mid-week. The shares are back above 300p, but there are signs that the latest bounce towards 315p is running out of steam. 

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