Week Ahead: Will the Fed, BoE, or BoJ give us any clarity?

George Walker, Thursday, 11 March 2021


As we move into what marks a year since lockdown, the week starts on a quiet note with Industrial Production and Retail Sales figures from China early morning, as well as a Press Conference held by the National Bureau of Statistics.  NBS reports on the country's national and local statistics on population, economics, and more.

RBA, Retail Sales, and oil reserves

Moving into Tuesday, we expect the RBA's latest meeting minutes. Though the Reserve Bank of Australia has already outlined its stimulus plans, there could be slight changes in language used, which may provide clarity on monetary policy in the near future.

US Retail Sales in the early afternoon will show any changes in consumers' disposable income and appetite for spending.

Commodities traders are keeping an eye on oil inventory data, as oil trades at levels not seen since last January. The API Weekly Crude Oil Stock is released Tuesday evening, followed by the EIA Crude Oil Stocks Change figures Wednesday, both of which gauge oil storage and demand – the more oil in storage, the lower the demand.

Wednesday morning sees Consumer Price Index Inflation data out of the Eurozone, followed in the early afternoon by the same data from Canada. As global economies continue to recover, central banks have renewed focus on inflation when determining monetary policy, so we could see volatility in their currencies as the data is released.

Will the Fed remain adamant on its stance?

A major event for the week is the Fed's Interest Rate Decision Wednesday evening. Analysts estimate that there will be no change to the current rate which sits at 0.25%. Investors and traders alike will be focused on the Press Conference shortly after the initial announcement as the FOMC addresses questions on its forward guidance. Having maintained the rhetoric that they remain steadfast with their current policy when addressing employment and economic growth, markets could look to a potential rise in inflation when assessing the Fed's next move. Typically speaking, a rise in inflation is tamed by interest rate hikes, so comments around this subject could see increased focus on future data releases. Major US indices and the dollar could react to unexpected information so traders will need to be tuned in to avoid surprises.

We wrap Wednesday up with Gross Domestic Product data out of New Zealand, which may move the kiwi, and overnight into Thursday, Australia's Unemployment Data may be worth following.

Across the pond, will the BoE follow suit?

Come Thursday, all eyes will be on the Bank of England and their Interest Rate Decision. As a reaction to the pandemic, the BoE made two emergency rate cuts this time last year, slashing rates from 0.75% down to 0.10% which remains in place as a historic low. Speculation of negative rates seem to have subsided as global economies are showing signs of recovery, and thus, this meeting may be uneventful. That said, inflation, employment, economic growth, and clarity on how the UK is progressing outside of the EU could all be carefully scrutinised in the bank's statement. Traders will focus on subtle changes in language which has the potential to cause subsequent volatility in GBP pairs and the footsie.

As always, Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims from the US will be eagerly awaited an hour prior to US market open – measuring the number of people claiming unemployment benefits, the figure(s) help(s) us assess the job market's overall health.

On our last trading day of the week, we have the Bank of Japan Rate Decision and Press Conference up first in the early hours of Friday morning. The BoJ has adopted negative rates, which currently sit at -0.10%. In previous remarks from the central bank, the current rate was supportive enough for an economy reeling from the impact of the pandemic. The difficult decision they have to make now is how long to keep rates negative for. This can have an impact on inflation, which could stall economic recovery as people are less willing to go out and spend. The press conference will be where traders are focused to see if any amendments are on the horizon.

Finally, Retail Sales data from Canada rounds off the week.

All times indicated are GMT.


(All times are GMT)

Monday, 15th March

02:00 CNY NBS Press Conference
02:00 CNY Industrial Production
02:00 CNY Retail Sales
12:30 CAD Manufacturing Sales
13:30 USD NY Empire State Manufacturing Index
20:00 NZD Westpac Consumer Survey

No US or UK Company Announcements

Tuesday, 16th March

00:30 AUD RBA Meeting Minutes
00:30 AUD House Price Index
04:30 JPY Industrial Production
04:30 JPY Capacity Utilisation
07:00 EUR EcoFin Meeting
10:00 GER ZEW Survey – Economic Sentiment
10:00 GER ZEW Survey – Current Situation
10:00 EUR ZEW Survey – Economic Sentiment
12:30 USD Retail Sales
12:30 USD Retail Sales ex-Autos
12:30 USD Retail Sales Control Group
12:30 USD Import Price Index
12:30 USD Export Price Index
12:55 USD Redbook Index
13:15 USD Industrial Production
13:15 USD Capacity Utilisation
14:00 USD Business Inventories
20:30 USD API Weekly Crude Oil Stock
23:30 AUD RBA's Kent Speech
23:30 AUD Westpac Leading Index
23:50 JPY Imports
23:50 JPY Exports
23:50 JPY Merchandise Trade Balance Total

UK Company Announcements:

Wood Group (J)

US Company Announcements:


Wednesday, 17th March

10:00 EUR Consumer Price Index
10:00 EUR Consumer Price Index – Core
12:30 USD Building Permits
12:30 USD Housing Starts
12:30 CAD Consumer Price Index
12:30 CAD Consumer Price Index – Core
12:30 CAD BoC Consumer Price Index Core
15:30 USD EIA Crude Oil Stocks Change
18:00 USD Fed Interest Rate
18:00 USD Fed's Monetary Policy Statement
18:00 USD FOMC Economic Projections
18:30 USD FOMC Press Conference
21:45 NZD Gross Domestic Product

UK Company Announcements:


US Company Announcements:

Cintas Corporation

Thursday, 18th March

00:30 AUD Employment Change
00:30 AUD Unemployment Rate
00:30 AUD Fulltime Employment
00:30 AUD Part-Time Employment
00:30 AUD Participation Rate
07:00 CHF Imports
07:00 CHF Exports
07:00 CHF Trade Balance
10:00 EUR Trade Balance
10:00 EUR Labour Cost
12:00 GBP BoE Interest rate Decision
12:00 GBP BoE Asset Purchase Facility
12:00 GBP Monetary Policy Statement
12:00 GBP Bank of England Minute
12:00 GBP BoE PMC Vote Unchanged
12:00 GBP BoE PMC Vote Hike
12:00 GBP BoE PMC Vote Cut
12:30 GBP BoE's Haldane Speech
12:30 USD Initial Jobless Claims
12:30 USD Continuing Jobless Claims
12:30 USD Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey
12:30 CAD ADP Employment Change
12:30 CAD New Housing Price Index
14:30 USD EIA Natural Gas Storage Change
23:30 JPY National Consumer Price Index
23:30 JPY National CPI ex-Food & Energy
23:30 JPY National CPI ex-Fresh Food

UK Company Announcements:

888 Holdings
Genel Energy

US Company Announcements:

Dollar General

Friday, 19th March

00:30 AUD Retail Sales
03:00 JPY BoJ Interest Rate Decision
03:00 JPY BoJ Monetary Policy Statement
06:00 JPY BoJ Press Conference
07:00 GER Producer Price Index
12:30 CAD Retail Sales
12:30 CAD Retail Sales ex-Autos
17:00 USD Baker Hughes US Oil Rig Count

No US or UK Company Announcements


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