The week ahead

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

Federal Reserve building
Source: Bloomberg

The rebound in global equity markets gathered pace this week, thanks to a general easing in tensions in certain parts of the world. The latest dip does appear to be over, confounding those that expected the selling from the beginning of August to turn into a genuine correction.

Perhaps the main events of the week will be the Bank of England and Federal Reserve minutes on Wednesday, with the former carrying particular weight. Elsewhere, China data remains important, while eurozone PMIs should help to provide colour on whether the region's economy is still weakening.

Economic reports


UK CPI (July), 9.30am: UK inflation is predicted to slow markedly this month, to -0.55% month-on-month and 1.39% year-on-year, from 0.2% and 1.9% respectively. Market to watch: GBP/USD, EUR/GBP

US CPI (July), 1.30pm: Price growth in the US is forecast to ease back as well, to 0.1% MoM from 0.3% and to 2% from 2.1% YoY. Market to watch: GBP/USD, EUR/USD, AUD/USD, USD/JPY

US housing starts and building permits (July), 1.30pm: The picture for US housing is expected to improve, with housing starts rising 8.6% to an annual rate of 970K (from a drop of -9.3% and a rate of 893K last month), while building permits should accelerate by 2.8% from -4.2% last month and an annual rate of 1 million from 963K last month. Market to watch: Dow Jones, S&P 500, NASDAQ, GBP/USD, EUR/USD, AUD/USD, USD/JPY


Bank of England minutes (Aug), 9.30am: The all-important minutes of the latest meeting will carry much more weight than the actual decision, which provided no surprise as rates were left unchanged. The vote is expected to show one MPC member voting for a hike, and if any more break cover then the pound could see increased buying. Market to watch: GBP/USD, EUR/GBP

Fed minutes (Aug), 7pm: The bull market is back, but the minutes will be carefully parsed for any signs that an interest rate rise is on the cards soon. Market to watch: Dow Jones, S&P 500, NASDAQ, GBP/USD, EUR/USD, AUD/USD, USD/JPY


Japan manufacturing PMI (Aug, preliminary), 2.35am: Japan's manufacturing survey is expected to rise from 50.5 to 51.9 in August, allaying some of the concerns from the recent poor GDP reading. Market to watch: Japan 225, USD/JPY

HSBC China manufacturing PMI (Aug, preliminary) 2.45am: The first reading for August is forecast to edge back slightly, from 51.7 to 51.6, but this will still be in expansion territory, being above the 50 mark. Market to watch: China A50, Hang Seng, AUD/USD, copper

France, Germany, eurozone PMIs (Aug, preliminary), 8am - 9am: Composite, manufacturing and services PMIs will be key to determining the performance of these economies in August, especially given the recent turndown in data from the currency union that has prompted expectations of ECB QE later in the year. Market to watch: CAC40, DAX, EStoxx 50, EUR/USD, EUR/GBP

US initial jobless claims, 1.30pm: These rose above 300K in the most recent reading, but should drop back below once again, to 288K, as the US economy continues to improve. Market to watch: Dow Jones, S&P 500, NASDAQ, GBP/USD, EUR/USD, AUD/USD, USD/JPY

US mfg PMI (Aug, preliminary), 2.45pm: The reading is expected to drop back slightly, to 55.5 from 55.8 last month, but consistent with lower activity in August. Market to watch: Dow Jones, S&P 500, NASDAQ, GBP/USD, EUR/USD, AUD/USD, USD/JPY

US existing home sales (July), 3pm: The positive picture created earlier in the week by housing starts and building permits will be dispelled slightly if this data comes in as expected. Sales are forecast to drop by 0.8% in the month, from 2.6% growth in June, with the annual rate hitting 5 million from an earlier 5.04 million. Market to watch: Dow Jones, S&P 500, NASDAQ, GBP/USD, EUR/USD, AUD/USD, USD/JPY


Canadian CPI (July) and retail sales (June), 1.30pm: The week ends quietly with Canadian data, with CPI expected to rise to 2.52% YoY from 2.4%, and reach 0.15% MoM from 0.1% in June. Meanwhile, retail sales should also rise, up 0.41% MoM from 0.4%, and remaining steady YoY at 4.8%. Market to watch: USD/CAD


Company announcements


Amlin, Bovis Homes, Cairn Energy


BHP Billiton, CRH, Persimmon, Afren, John Wood Group, Home Depot


Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Hochschild Mining, Target Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co


Kazakhmys, Phoenix Group, Premier Oil, Gap, Dollar Tree




FTSE ex-dividend stocks next week: InterContinental Hotels, HSBC, Mondi, British American Tobacco, Rexam, Prudential, Hammerson, Carnival.

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