Weekly Forecast – April 17
International geo-political concerns will continue to be an important factor with the potential for volatile trading conditions.
Euro-zone politics will be a key focus while the IMF/World Bank meetings will need to be monitored closely given that all major Finance Minister and central bankers will be in attendance.
The US economic trends will be under greater scrutiny following the weaker than expected retail sales and consumer inflation data released last week. The overall economic data releases this week are unlikely to have a major influence with the housing starts and industrial production releases of only limited importance.
The PMI data will be potentially important with the flash Markit data due on Friday.
Comments from Fed officials will remain a significant focus with any further comments from Treasury officials on the currency watched closely. Any further rhetoric from President Trump surrounding currency markets will also be important with the US Treasury rhetoric watched very closely.
The UK retail sales data will be released on Friday with expectations of a subdued reading while comment from Bank of England Governor Carney will be monitored closely over the week for any hints surrounding the May policy meeting.
Brexit negotiations will return as a potential focus, especially with Parliament sitting again following the Easter recess.
The Euro-zone PMI data will be an important focus during the week to assess whether recent momentum within the economy has been sustained. Any comments from ECB officials will be important ahead of the ECB council meeting the following week.
The French election is, however, likely to be the most important focus during the week with the Presidential first round due on April 23rd. The Euro will react to final opinion polls, especially with four candidates in contention, and there could be a big impact from the first-round result, especially if Le Pen fails to reach the second round.
Geo-political tensions will inevitably be an important focus with further concerns surrounding the situation in North Korea. The tensions between the US and Russia surrounding Syria will also be potentially significant.
New Zealand and Canada will release their latest inflation data during the week.
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