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Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 70% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Ahead of the game: 6 May 2024

Your weekly financial calendar for market insights and key economic indicators.

Source: Getty

US equity markets are poised to conclude the week with gains, propelled by strong earnings from mega tech companies Apple and Amazon, alongside lower bond yields following Fed Chair Powell's comments at this week's FOMC meeting indicating that a rate hike is improbable.

The ASX 200 saw a slight uptick this week, buoyed by Wall Street's advances and a weaker-than-anticipated Australian retail sales report for April, which tempered expectations for another RBA rate increase this year.

  • The Fed kept rates steady at 5.25%-5.50% for the sixth consecutive meeting in the US, signaling rates would stay high for longer
  • US Employment Cost Index rose by 1.2% QoQ, surpassing the 0.9% forecast, indicating inflation pressures
  • Euro Area Q1 GDP grew by 0.3%, improving from 0%, while inflation held steady at 2.4% YoY in April
  • In the UK, the Composite Flash PMI for April rose to 54, reaching its highest rate since May 2023
  • China's Caixin Manufacturing PMI improved to 51.4 in April from 51.1, suggesting manufacturing resilience
  • Australian retail sales declined -0.4% in March, contrary to the 0.2% expected rise
  • ISM Manufacturing PMI in the US decreased to 49.2 in April from 50.3, signaling contraction
  • CB Consumer Confidence Index in the US dropped to 97 in April from 103.1 prior
  • March Jolts Job Openings in the US fell to 8.488mio from 8.813mio, indicating a cooling job market
  • Crude oil prices fell 5.50% this week to $79.21 per barrel
  • Gold dropped 1.51% to $2302 amid movements towards a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel
  • The Volatility (VIX) index slightly fell to 14.67 from 15.02, showing a decrease in market fear.

  • AU: RBA interest rate decision (Tuesday, 7 May at 2:30pm AEST)
  • AU: RBA Press Conference (Tuesday, 7 May at 3:30 pm AEST)
  • NZ: Business NZ PMI (Friday, 10 May at 8:30 am AEST)

  • CN: Caixin Services PMI (Monday, 6 May at 11:45am AEST)
  • CN: Balance of Trade (Thursday, 9 May at 1:00pm AEST)
  • CN: CPI and PPI (Saturday, 11 May at 11:30am AEST)
  • CN: New Yuan Loans (Saturday, 11 May at 11:30am AEST)

  • US: Michigan Consumer Sentiment (Saturday, 11 May at 12:00am AEST)
  • US: Fed Goolsbee Speech (Saturday, 11 May at 2:45am AEST)

  • UK: BoE interest rate decision (Thursday, 9 May at 9:00pm AEST)
  • UK: GDP Q1 (Friday, 10 May at 4:00pm AEST)
Source: Getty
  • AU

RBA interest rate decision; and press conference

Date: Tuesday, 7 May from 2.30pm AEST

As widely expected, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept its official cash rate on hold at 4.35% at its Board meeting in March.

The RBA noted that higher interest rates were working to establish a more sustainable balance between demand and supply. However, while goods inflation continues to moderate, it reiterated its concerns about sticky services inflation: “Services inflation remains elevated, and is moderating at a more gradual pace,” it said.

The statement also placed emphasis on the data dependency of future decisions: "The board will rely upon the data”. It observed the recent pick-up in measured productivity and noted the “outlook for household consumption also remains uncertain.”

In the final paragraph of its statement, the RBA replaced the sentence that “a further increase in interest rates cannot be ruled out” with “the Board is not ruling anything in or out.”

In the lead-up to the upcoming May Board meeting, firmer than expected Australian inflation and employment data has resulted in the Australian interest rate market swinging from pricing in RBA rate cuts this year to pricing in a 33% chance of a 25bp rate hike, before year-end.

While we view the bar to another RBA rate hike as very high, we acknowledge the window for rate cuts in 2024 has narrowed and have pushed back our call for a first RBA rate cut from August until November.

RBA official cash rate

Source: RBA
  • UK

BoE interest rate decision

Date: Thursday, 9 May at 9pm AEST

As anticipated, the Bank of England (BOE) kept rates unchanged at 5.25% in March. However, the vote split provided a dovish surprise with an 8-1 vote, as two members who had voted for hikes in February removed their hawkish dissent while a third continued to vote for a 25bp ease.

There was no change to the forward guidance from February, when the BoE shifted to a neutral stance, with it stating, "will therefore continue to monitor closely indications of persistent inflationary pressures and resilience in the economy as a whole, including a range of measures of the underlying tightness of labour market conditions, wage growth and services price inflation".

The announcement came a day after inflation data showed that country’s inflation rate had dropped to 3.4%, its lowest rate in almost two and half year’s. BoE governor Andrew Bailey sound optimistic that condition were becoming more favourable for the central bank to consider rate cuts later this year. Ahead of this week’s meeting, the UK rates market is pricing in at total of 44bp of BoE rate cuts in 2024, with a first-rate cut fully priced for September.

BoE official cash rate

  • UK


Date: Friday, 10 May at 10.30pm AEST

In February, the UK economy grew by 0.1% month-on-month (MoM), following a 0.2% growth in January. While overall growth remains sluggish, the readings show that the UK economy is on track to exit technical recession territory, after its economy contracted in the third and fourth quarter of 2023.

The release of the UK 1Q GDP next week may offer the confirmation that the recession has come to an end, and the economy could be starting to turn a corner. With UK’s inflation rate for March showing further easing to 3.2%, which is the lowest level since September 2021, market participants have been pricing for a rate cut from the Bank of England (BoE) as early as August this year, potentially front-running the US Fed.

UK monthly GDP MoM

Source: TradingEconomics
  • China


Date: Saturday 11 May at 11.30am AEST

China’s consumer prices barely avoided deflationary territory in March, with its consumer price index (CPI) rising by just 0.1% year-on-year, down from the previous 0.7% as festive spending fades. March producer prices also weakened, with a deeper contraction at -2.8% versus the previous -2.5%.

While there are some green shoots emerging from China’s economic conditions, notably in the manufacturing sector, recovery has not been broad-based, with its services Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) edging to its three-month low in April.

Ahead, expectations are for China’s consumer prices to improve to 0.3% year-on-year. Should there be any unexpected return to deflation for consumer prices, it may reinforce the still-weak domestic demand and raise calls for more supportive measure into the second half of this year.

China’s CPI and PPI figures

Source: Refinitiv

Q1 2024 earnings season

The Q1 2024 earnings season continues this week, with companies scheduled to report, including Palantir Technologies, Walt Disney Co., Twilio, Lyft,Uber, Airbnb, Robinhood, Roblox, Dropbox

Dates of release

Source: Eikon

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

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