Next Week

December 18, 2009

Japanese markets close next Wednesday for the Emperor’s Birthday holiday.  Many Continental European centers will shut either for all or part of Thursday.  Japan will be one of very few open markets on Christmas Day, and is making the most of the opportunity, as that day will see the release of consumer prices, labor statistics, real household spending, corporate service prices, construction orders and housing starts.  Britain observes Boxing Day on Monday, December 28th.  Very few central banks — e.g., Taiwan, Poland and Hungary — plan policy meetings in the coming week.  However, the Bank of Japan will publish its monthly and minutes from last month’s meeting, and the Bank of England releases minutes from its December meeting.  A Swiss National Bank policy report is also due and arrives at a time of new confusion over its Swiss franc policy.

Other scheduled Japanese indicator next week include customs trade, the Shoko Chukin index of small firm sentiment, the all industry index, the monthly Tankan index proxy calculated by Reuters, and the Finance Ministry’s quarterly survey of business expectations.  On Monday, December 28, METI releases retail sales, and that will just about wrap up 2009 and the decade for Japan.  BOJ Governor Shirakawa speaks publicly twice.

The United States will be releases the final GDP revision for 3Q, existing and new home sales, durable goods orders, the FHFA housing index, the Chicago and Richmond Fed indices, the final U. Michigan index of consumer sentiment for the month, personal income and spending, and the usual batch of weekly indicators such as new and continuing jobless insurance claims.

Euroland as a whole reports only industrial orders.  Selected releases from euro area members include German and Italian consumer confidence, French producer prices, unemployment and consumer spending on manufactured goods, Italian wages, Belgian and Dutch business sentiment, Dutch GDP, and Belgium’s CPI.  ECB governing council member Stark will speak publicly.

The final estimate of British GDP is due, as is the quarter’s current account numbers.  Bank lending and consumer confidence are other scheduled U.K. data releases.  Sweden reports retail sales and trade figures, while the Swiss consumption index, leaders index, and balance of payments arrive as well.

Elsewhere around the Pacific Rim comes Australian motor vehicle sales, New Zealand quarterly GDP and current account statistics, Singapore industrial output, Hong Kong and Singapore CPI, and Taiwanese unemployment, industrial orders, and industrial production.

Canada will be reporting retail sales and monthly GDP.  Mexico announces GDP and retail sales.

As a general rule, the week before Christmas tends to see less action than the week afterward, when trades sometimes like to get a jump start on the new year.  2009 could be an exception to that pattern, since so many interest developments occurred at the end of this week like the Swiss franc’s strengthening beyond 1.50/EUR, the Bank of Japan’s declared war against deflation, the U.S. rush to pass a health care bill, and new geopolitical tensions in the middle east.

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



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