*Please note; The author is working from UTC +13 when determining the timeline of data releases.
Will the Non-Farm Payrolls (NFP) move the market this week? Or, has its importance been shifted to the side in the mind of investors and traders, especially as huge new global events draw the world's attention? Of course, I am speaking of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began at the end of last week and has caused an extreme amount of volatility in the forex, commodity, and stock markets. With no diplomatic resolution in sight, the Russian/Ukrainian war is expected to continue to have an outsized impact on these markets.
Nevertheless, the US Federal Reserve will be watching the NFP figures with interest as they always do and folding the results into its justification to hike interest rates moving forward. As such, investors and traders should be keeping a cursory eye on the values, alongside developments in Ukraine.
The Federal Reserve is almost guaranteed to hike interest rates in its March meeting, its first in the post-pandemic inflationary environment. What isn't guaranteed is how much the Fed will hike. On the table are 25 basis points and 50 basis points. The NFP may impact the Fed's choice between these two options.
ADP Employment Change FEB
Leading up to the big NFP data release, we will have the precursor ADP Employment Change report for February to digest.
Last month’s data surprised the market when it reported a cut of 300K jobs in the private sector (vs an expected gain of 200K jobs). This month’s report may rebound with an expected 350K jobs added to the private sector
Non-Farm Payrolls FEB
Contrary to the ADP Employment Change report, the NFP reported a gain of 470K jobs in January.
The NFP For February is expected to report a 450K job gain. Combining an extraordinary Non-Farm Payrolls beat with other data points regarding the US economy recently might be the impetus the Federal Reserve needs to consider a 50-basis point hike seriously. Alarmingly, US producer prices rose 1% over January, the largest rise over the past twelve months, and lifted US PPI to 9.7% YoY
It is officially five weeks out until the United States Election. Expect an increase in volatility in the markets as we get closer to the official election dates. It is interesting to note that New Zealand's elections will be held two weeks after the US elections – throwing an extra spanner in the works. Here is your week ahead.
Dates are in NZDT.
Usually hosted in front of a crowd, the Coronavirus has put this tradition on top of its head like many other in-person events. There will only be one moderator, with Joe Biden and President Donald Trump going at it for one hour. A crowd? Possibly, Possibly not. If so, it would be strictly limited. The first moderator will be Chris Wallace, the anchor of "Fox News Sunday." It is predicted that the topics will revolve around the financial record for both Trump and Biden, the Supreme Court, the Pandemic, the economy, race and violence in cities, and the election's integrity. Both candidates will have 15 minutes to answer each question. Traders and Investors should be careful trading around this time, as markets are bound to shift either direction depending on the topic in question.
After flattening the curve, China has set an example of how a large population deals with the Coronavirus. (I'm assuming they're not lying about their results.) This has enabled the country of almost 1.4 Billion to start restarting their economy a lot earlier than their peers. For comparison, India continues to rack up daily Coronavirus cases with a population similar to China. They currently sit at around 6m Coronavirus cases, in contrast to China's stated 85k cases. China's Non-Manufacturing PMI is set to soften, from 55.2 last month to 52.1. Look for movements in the offshore USD-CNY pair in the week ahead.
If there is an example of a "second wave" of the Coronavirus, The United Kingdom exemplifies it. With Prime Minister Boris Johnson forcing drastic measures to stop the Coronavirus, including forcing pubs to close at 10 pm, urging workers to work from home, and many limits regarding groups. GDP is expected to drop -20.4%, similarly in the last quarter. Boris insists that there will not be a second lockdown.
Europe has had a relatively valiant effort with regards to the Coronavirus. Although many countries have seen spikes in cases in the past couple of weeks, government and central bank stimulus have supported the European economy as much as possible. With fears of a strengthening in the Euro slowing the recovery, it is to be seen whether the ECB or Government will weaken the Euro. The CPI is set to rise this month from 0.4% last month, to 0.7% this month.
We talked about the United Kingdom having a second wave – it seems like the United States hasn't even finished its first one. Cases continue to pile up, with total cases at 7.1 Million. Furthermore, it looks like the President has fully put the Coronavirus on the side as he focuses on the upcoming debates and elections. Furthermore, with his tax returns being released by the New York Times, more pressure is being placed on the President to answer – diverting even more of his attention away from the mounting deaths in the United States. GDP in the second quarter is set to contract 31.7%. Furthermore, even as citizens in the United States slowly go back to work, Non-farm payrolls are set to fall from last month, with a 1.371 Million Non-Farm Payroll's previous month to an estimated 875k this month.
Australia, too, experienced a second wave just like the United Kingdom. However, Australia's second wave was larger than the first, as the State of Victoria saw a massive spike a couple of weeks ago. This forced the state to go into a second lockdown, which brought daily numbers down to more manageable levels. Their swift control of the second wave has the Trans Tasman bubble between it and New Zealand revived, with reports stating that it could be just weeks before Australians and New Zealanders can travel to either country. Total Coronavirus Cases in Australia is 27,040, with 872 deaths. With the Australian Government provided 80% wage subsidies, Retail Sales should not take a massive hit this week ahead as citizens continue to online shop. A surprise uptick in retail sales should see a spike in the Australian Dollar against the greenback.
An exciting week ahead. Stay Safe, Trade Safe.