Next Week

May 1, 2009

The first week of May will be crowded with central bank meetings in Euroland, Britain, Norwary, the Czech Republic, Romania, Australia, Chile, Peru and Indonesia.  The Swedish Riksbank and Bank of Japan will be releasing minutes of previous interest rate-setting meetings, and the Reserve Bank of Australia unveils a new quarterly Monetary Policy Statement.

Japanese markets will be closed Monday-through-Wednesday for continuing Golden Week holidays a time a internal family travel.  British markets are also shut on Monday for a bank holiday.  Japanese data late in the week are limited to the service-sector PMI and the monetary base.

Scheduled U.S. data releases focus on the labor market (ADP private-sector jobs on Wednesday, jobless claims on Thursday, and the monthly labor force survey on Friday) and housing sector activity (pending home sales and construction spending).  Figures for wholesale inventories, quarterly productivity and unit labor costs are also scheduled.  The U.S. service-sector PMI indices will be released on Tuesday.

Britain reports PMI indices for services and construction, Nationwide’s gauge of consumer confidence, car sales and producer prices.

In Euroland, retail sales and collective and national PMI readings are due for both manufacturing and services are due.  So are producer prices for Italy and the entire bloc.  France reports trade figures, and Germany releases industrial output, orders, and trade and current account data.

Many other countries also announce PMI data next week, including South Africa, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Mexico, China, Canada and Singapore.

Quite a few Asian indicators are scheduled, including Hong Kong retail sales, Thai and Philippine consumer prices, and Taiwanese and Malaysian trades.

In addition to the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand release monthly labor market data.  Australia also has scheduled releases for expected inflation, building permits, house prices, job ads, retail sales and the trade balance.  Canadian housing starts and building permits are due.

Various central bankers from the Fed, ECB, Bank of Canada, Reserve Bank of Australia, and Swiss National Bank will be speaking.

All of the above has a potential to be dwarfed by the U.S. stress test results on 19 banks, where the reaction of the markets is likely to be just as important as the details that are unveiled.  Currency, equity, and bond markets since September have been dominated by the rise and fall of risk aversion.  Movement in equities have been led by financial shares, first down and then up, and currencies have taken their cue from stocks.  The stress test findings will either be a major object of uncertainty that markets finally get past, or a watershed that exposes the stock market rise since early March as a bear market rally.

Copyright 2009 Larry Greenberg.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.


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