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By: Andria Pichidi
The shortened week starts with major markets closed on Easter Monday, but overcompensates on Wednesday and Thursday with the BoC rate decision and Press Conference, Australian employment data and Inflation from the EU.
Tuesday – 14 April 2020
- Trade Balance (CNY, GMT N/A) – The Chinese trade balance is expected to turn out positive in March, standing at $18 bln, compared to the deficit of $7 billion in February.
Wednesday – 15 April 2020
- Retail Sales (USD, GMT 12:30) – Retail Sales are expected to have declined to -3.4% for headline retail sales and -0.9% for the ex-auto figure, following February dips of -0.5% for the headline and -0.4% ex-autos.
- Event of the week – BoC Interest Rate Decision & Press Conference (CAD, GMT 14:00 – 15:15) – On March 27, the Bank of Canada cut 50 bps to 0.25%. A rate reduction to the 0.25% setting was widely expected either at or before the April 15 announcement date. Hence in this week’s meeting no change of rate is expected. As they stated at the time: “This unscheduled rate decision brings the policy rate to its effective lower bound and is intended to provide support to the Canadian financial system and the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Bank launched two new programs: 1. Commercial Paper Purchase Program (CPPP) to help alleviate strains in short-term funding markets and thereby preserve a key source of funding for businesses and 2. Acquisition of GoC securities in the secondary market, with purchases beginning with a minimum of C$5 bln per week across the yield curve. The Bank is coordinating with the G7 and fiscal authorities and “stands ready to take further action as required to support the Canadian economy and financial system and to keep inflation on target.”
Thursday – 16 April 2020
- Labour Market Data (AUD, GMT 01:30) – As the world changed in March as the pandemic prompted widespread shutdowns of economies across the globe, employment change for March is expected to have significantly decreased to -40K from 26.7K in February, while the unemployment rate is expected to have increased to 5.5% in March, compared to 5.1% in the previous month.
- Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (EUR, GMT 06:00) – The German HICP preliminary inflation for March is anticipated to remain unchanged at 1.3% y/y.
- Housing Data (USD, GMT 12:30) – Housing starts should dip to a 1.300 mln pace in March, after falling to a 1.599 mln pace in February from a 14-year high of 1.624 mln in January. Permits are expected to fall to 1.360 mln in March, after dipping to 1.452 mln in February. Permits have followed a solid growth path since Q2 of 2019, alongside strength in starts.
- Jobless Claims (USD, GMT 12:30) – The disruptions from COVID-19 and the government’s policies including containment and relief measures are expected to continue boosting claims to unprecedented levels.
- Philly Fed Index (USD, GMT 12:30) – The Philly Fed index is seen falling to -35.0 versus a 37-month high of 36.7 in February. The March reading for the Philly Fed marked a low back to July ’12. April’s reading is now expected to decline further, to -26. The markets will focus on the ongoing hit from the COVID-19 outbreak and associated mandatory business closures in the April “soft data” reports. The indexes should bounce when various closure orders are lifted, but we have yet to see when this will be.
Friday – 17 April 2020
- Gross Domestic Product (CNY, GMT 02:00) – The first Quarter of 2020 growth is expected to slow down significantly, confirming the damage the pandemic has inflicted on economies in that part of the world. The reading is expected at -10.0% q/q from the 1.5% q/q seen for the Q3 and Q4 of 2019 .
- EU CPI inflation (EUR, GMT 09:00) – Both the core and the overall CPI inflation rates are expected to accelerate in a monthly basis to 1.1% and 0.5% respectively.
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