The week ahead 28.01.2019
A quiet start to the week today with only testimony from ECB President Mario Draghi to the European Parliament in Brussels due at 14:00 GMT. As audiences go, it doesn’t get more friendly than this, and they are expected to studiously avoid anything in the way of rigorous questioning, preferring to ask only questions to which they are sure they really want to know the answer. Tuesday brings us US House Price Index data at 14:00 followed by Chicago Consumer Confidence at 15:00. The interesting story of the day will be with the UK Parliament’s vote on Brexit Plan B, expected to look suspiciously like Brexit Plan A. If this is rejected the default legal option is for a No Deal Brexit. Talk of ‘Hard” and ‘Soft’ Brexits are misleading, since a ‘soft Brexit’ simply means “Not Brexit’, involving, as it does, several devious ties to the EU of indeterminate length. There are risks here for Sterling so be prepared. Wednesday brings us Australian Q4 CPI at 00:30 GMT (minor decline expected), with minor data out for Switzerland at 08:00 in the form of some Leading Indicators. Most eyes will be focused on the US Employment change at 13:15 (expected around -35k) and the Fed interest rate decision at 19:00. As usual, no change is expected here but the statement will be scrutinised for subtle hints regarding future rate adjustments. Thursday also kicks off early with Chinese PMI data at 01:00, with the far more important Eurozone Q4 GDP due at 10:00 GMT. Many suspect the Eurozone to be under more pressure than is perhaps being revealed by the data, so a disappointing figure here could have dire consequences for the Euro. Chicago releases their PMI data at 14:45 (expected decrease of around 3.5%). Friday brings us to the beginning of a new month and slightly surprisingly, the release of US Non Farm Payrolls. Whilst this is usually the 1st Friday of the new month, where that falls on a Friday it is sometimes deferred, as indeed it is in March when it will be released on the 8th. Not this time though, so the data will probably be subject to a larger revision the following month. Hourly earnings will be carefully monitored, and we are expecting growth of 3.1%, with unemployment below 4%.