After tanking many equities at the end of last week, the new coronavirus variant out of South Africa will likely be of primary interest to investors leading to the end of 2021. Nonetheless, the show must go on, and several vital data reports from the world’s major players are released this week.
*Please note; The author is working from UTC +13 when determining the timeline of data releases.
Freshly re-elected Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to speak (pre-recorded) on Tuesday morning. However, Powell won’t touch on US inflation, interest rates, and bond-buying issues. Investors might glean more critical information from the speeches of Fed representatives Richard Clarida (Vice-Chair), John Williams, and Michelle Bowman, who all speak Tuesday morning.
The Europeans Union’s Inflation Rate YoY for November is released Tuesday night. A rise from 4.1% the previous month to 4.5% is expected. Even so, It would be a shock for the European Central Bank to pull away from its ultra-accommodative stance in reaction.
We are graced with another Fed Chair speech on Wednesday. This speech should be more closely watched than Tuesday’s.
Powell will testify before the US senate in a speech tilted Coronavirus and CARES Act. It will be interesting to see if Powell’s tone on the transitory nature of inflation has changed to match that of US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
Closing the week will be employment data from the US. First up is the US ADP Employment Change for November. ADP employment is forecast to rise by more than 500K, marking a third straight month of such rises if actualised.
The November Unemployment Rate and Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) are released early Saturday morning. A value in the Mid-500K is expected for NFP, while Unemployment is expected to fall one percentage point to 4.5%.
With employment being a more significant factor for the Fed under Powell’s tenure than previous Chairs, a solid report should help strengthen investors current understanding of the Feds position and timeline on rate hikes and tapering.