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Week ahead: Central banks and GDP

A hectic week ahead as companies and countries start to position themselves to exit the pandemic in the best shape possible. Total Coronavirus Cases top 29 Million, with over 924 thousand deaths. Here is your week ahead.

Monday, 14th September – UK Parliamentary vote on Brexit

Boris Johnson has stated that he plans to change part of the terms in the Northern Ireland Protocol. Johnson agreed to keep the border open between the UK and Ireland a year ago. However, he plans to renege on this agreement bypassing UK legislation to override the clause. This has caused a stir between the EU and the UK as if the legislation is passed, would technically be violating international law. This has forced the UK's top government lawyer to quit in protest). This is on top of a possibility of a no-deal Brexit; amongst the global pandemic that has consumed every single politician's attention, a further wrench in the works may send the markets swinging this week ahead.

Tuesday, 15th, Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th September – UK Unemployment Rate 3 months, UK CPI and Bank of England Monetary Policy decision

An Institute for Employment Studies Freedom of Information requests showed that 380,000 jobs were planned to be cut from May to July in the UK this year. In comparison, around 180,000 job cuts were planned from January to March 2009, around the financial crisis. The UK has taken a massive hit due to the Coronavirus, with cases continuing to rise even after the first lockdown. Social distancing measures have forced lower traffic to shops, forcing redundancies, which forces a vicious cycle. The Market predicts a 3.9% unemployment rate, which is identical to the rate three months ago. However, the CPI is predicted to increase by 0.3% by 1.3%, showing the potential effects of inflation on the UK economy.

The Bank of England, like many other central banks, are set to keep rates as is at 0.1%.

Wednesday, 16th September – US Retail Sales MoM

As US-China Tensions starts to ramp up before the election period, eyes on the consumer, which were regarded as the "Backbone of the economy" before the pandemic, has stayed relatively healthy due to government stimulus. With US retail sales rising three months in a row, economists predict that with stimulus checks ending soon, US consumers' total income should decrease, therefore seeing a drop in retail sales this month. Analysts expect a 0.1% decrease in retail sales to 1.1% in the next month.

Wednesday, 16th September - Fed Interest Rate Decision

As the Federal Reserve kicks into gear their higher inflation tolerance, the Market has its eyes set on any other support from the Federal Reserve to support the United States recovery. The Market predicts, like always, for the Fed to keep rates as is at 0.25%.

Wednesday, 16th September – GDP New Zealand QoQ and YoY

With New Zealand being touted as one of the most prosperous countries in trying to curb the Coronavirus, the country of 5 million is not immune to the economic damage caused by the virus. The country is set to see a GDP contraction the largest in history, with the Reserve Bank predicting a -14.3% fall in GDP growth. The Reserve bank is looking to Sweden as a template for negative rates. The currency markets pricing in a 72% possibility of the RBNZ cutting rates below 0% in February next year.

Thursday, 17th September – Japan BoJ Interest rate decision

With Yoshihide Suga being voted in by the party as the replacement of the current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan is currently enduring a turbulent period as it continues to grapple with the Coronavirus. Cases in Japan have recently been surging, as a reopening of the economy with no official lockdown has come back to bite the country. With declining GDP pre coronavirus, the Bank of Japan is set to keep interest rates as is at -0.1%. It is interesting to note that all the central banks with negative interest rates have left rates during the pandemic.

This week, with M & A kicking into gear, alongside further political action and central bank decisions, this week will undoubtedly be an extremely busy week ahead in the markets. Trade safe!

Central banks! Your week ahead

Central banks, central banks, central banks. This week ahead, central bankers from all around the world will conduct their annual Jackson hole meeting in which historically they discussed the macro-environment and, of course, monetary policy. However, due to Coronavirus restrictions, they cannot meet at Jackson Hole for the first time in 40 years. Like many meetings, they will be hosting a virtual meeting, available for the public to tune into. The main focus? “Navigating the Decade Ahead: Implications for Monetary Policy” – Or put simply, Monetary policy: Coronavirus edition. Here is your week ahead.

Wednesday, 26th August – U.S. Durable goods order

The Coronavirus continues to ravage the United States, with no visible end in sight. Currently, the United States recorded 48,163 new cases today, with 1,013 deaths. It is an awesome sight (the literal meaning of awesome, as in awe-some) as the U.S. stock market continues to rally to new highs, and billionaires see their wealth surge. The U.S. Durable Goods Order figure measures the cost of orders received by manufacturers for durable goods, including vehicles and appliances. As these are significant investments, they provide a good bearing on U.S. consumers (buying a new car when you just got laid off is unlikely). Therefore a higher than expected figure should boost U.S. equities and the U.S. dollar. The previous print was at a 7.6% increase in the cost of durable goods purchased, with consensus to see that number rise only 3.6% this month. 

Thursday, 27th August – Switzerland GDP Quarter over Quarter

With just under 40,000 confirmed cases, it is fair to say that Switzerland and many nations are continuing to grapple with the fight against the Coronavirus. However, just like with many other European countries, Switzerland is experiencing a resurgence of the virus. Switzerland recorded more than 300 new Coronavirus cases on Friday just before their quarterly update on Thursday. Analysts predict a print of -8.7% decline in GDP, from a 2.6% decline in the first quarter. 

 

Thursday 27th August – Jackson hole meeting, US GDP, Fed Jerome Powell Speech and Bank of Canada’s Governor Bailey Speech

Obviously not in Jackson hole due to the Coronavirus, Central banks from all around the world will host an online meeting discussing how monetary policy will be affected in the future from the Coronavirus pandemic. For the first time in 40 years, not only will the meeting not take place at Jackson Hole, but the conference will be available for the public to watch live. Furthermore, US GDP figures alongside both Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Governor Macklem from Bank of Canada is set to speak. There is no doubt that this will be a stormy day in the markets.

 

Friday, 28th August -BoE  Governor Bailey speech

The United Kingdom continues to record new Coronavirus cases, logging over 1,041 new cases today. Investors and traders are wary of the possibility of negative rates in the future, with Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden stating that the BoE has “further headroom” to go with regards to monetary policy. The Bank of England currently holds interest rates at 0.1% and maintained its 745 Billion asset purchase target. They predict that the U.K. economy will not return to its pre-Covid levels until the end of 2021. 

 A big week ahead with monetary policy and forecasts from top Economists and Central bankers. Trader and Investors should be wary of the speeches ahead before placing any trades this week. 

We're starting something new this week! If you prefer to listen to the articles rather than reading them, we will slowly make them available on all platforms where podcasts are supported! For now, you can listen to the article here.

 Safe trading!  

FED Keeps rates unchanged

FED keeps rates unchanged at 0.25% and promises to leave rates unchanged through 2022. Furthermore, Chairman Jerome Powell stated that they would “increase treasury purchases at least at the current pace.” This supports Jerome Powell’s supportive tone in helping to recover from what he regards as the “biggest economic shock in the US, and in the world in living memory.”

FED funds rate over the past 5 years

FED's decision gets mixed reactions in market

The USD is mixed on the news, with US Markets generally reacting positively on the news throughout the conference. SP500 was gaining ground with the NASDAQ flirting wit hall time highs. Chairman Jerome Powell reiterates that their tools are “lending powers, not spending powers” and that “once the pandemic has passed, they will put these emergency tools back in the chest.” This is about the $120B monthly asset purchases and the US dollar swaps available to governments across the world. He firmly reiterated that the FED is not “thinking about thinking about raising rates”, confirming the likelihood that low rates is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

NASDAQ (Blue) against the Dollar index (orange) returns

Jerome Powell pushed back on criticism on the effects of their purchases inflating asset prices, stating that the “purchases are accommodating financial conditions, which [he] believe is a good thing.” and that “a non-working financial system can amplify an economic shock.”

With low rates and accommodative financial, we may see an extension to the unprecedented rally in the markets, with Banks predicted to have a difficult time in generating profits in this low-interest-rate environment. However, the FED has the livelihood of Americans in check, with employment front and center and inflation “below their 2% objective”, citing “weak demand” in many pockets of the economy.

With the NASDAQ hitting all-time highs, if the FED continues to prop up the equity markets implicitly, is this a sign for you to enter the markets?