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Week ahead: UK GDP, US retail sales, Eurozone inflation, China trade data

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Suban Abdulla
·5-min read
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UK, London, elevated view over city financial district skyline looking north illuminated at sunrise
Although many countries, especially EU ones are tightening coronavirus restrictions due to a rise in infections, Britain is moving in the opposite direction, moving to relax restrictions. Photo: Getty

It is a busy week filled with a slew of economic indicators as England gears up to enter the second stage of the roadmap out of lockdown with the reopening of non-essential shops, outdoor dining and activities on Monday.

Across the pond in America the spotlight will be on consumer price data, retail sales, US investment banks earning season and 10-year Treasury (^TNX) bond auction. 

In Europe a deluge of top officials at the European Central Bank (ECB) are due to take the stage on Wednesday, including president Christine Lagarde. 

European and US markets will also pay close attention to a barrage of data due in China. 

Chinese foreign trade numbers for March on Tuesday. On Friday, retail sales and quarter one gross domestic product (GDP), which is expected to almost triple from where it was in Q4 — increasing from 6.5% to 18.3%.

Interest rate decisions are scheduled for release at central banks in New Zealand, South Korea and Turkey.

COVID-19 remains on the forefront of investors' minds as many countries grapple with a third wave of infections. 

In another setback for the bloc, EU's medical regulator the European Medicines Agency (EMA), on Friday said it started a probe into possible links between Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) COVID vaccine and blood clotting events. 

Weekend developments that might interest investors: 

WATCH: PM warns against complacency as England prepares for next step out of lockdown

UK: February GDP, manufacturing and industrial production, second stage of COVID restrictions easing

Although many countries, especially EU ones are tightening coronavirus restrictions due to a rise in infections, Britain is moving in the opposite direction. 

On Monday, England will move into the second stage of Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown. After months of being shuttered due to several lockdowns, non-essential retail, restaurants and pubs will reopen along with outdoor activities resuming. 

February GDP reading is on the slate for Tuesday. This is expected to improve from -2.9% in January to 0.4%, the rolling three month print is expected to decline from -1.7% to -1.9%.

Also on Tuesday, industrial and manufacturing production figures, both expected to improve. Industrial production is forecast to tick up month-on-month from -1.5% to 0.4%, with manufacturing to improve from -2.3% to 0.4%. 

While the UK is slowly easing coronavirus restrictions, it is not yet in the clear despite its successful vaccine rollout. 

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency concluded that there was a link between the AstraZeneca's (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine and blood clotting events on Thursday. The government announced shortly after the report that those under the age of 30 will be offered an alternative jab.

But, MHRA said the side effect was "very rare" and benefits continued to outweigh risks.

Despite the woes, so far over 39 million people have been vaccinated in the the UK, with more than 31 million receiving their first jab and nearly 7 million given both doses. 

Key company results: 

  • French Connection (FCCN.L), JD Sports (JD.L) — finals (Tuesday)

  • Revolution Bars (RBG.L) — half year (Tuesday)

  • Tesco (TSCO.L) — finals (Wednesday)

  • The Hut Group (THG.L) — full year (Thursday)

US: March retail sales, CPI, earnings season for big banks starts

A Wall St sign hangs at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at Wall Street on March 23, 2021 in New York City. - Wall Street stocks were under pressure early ahead of congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell as US Treasury bond yields continued to retreat. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
Investors are also likely to keep a close eye on whether more prime brokerages follow Credit Suisse (CS) in tightening hedge fund limits following the Archegos Capital fallout. Photo: Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

Wall Street will focus on big banks and financial companies reporting on Q1 results throughout the week. 

Earnings season kicks off with results from JPMorgan (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS) on Wednesday, Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), BlackRock (BLK) on Tuesday, and Morgan Stanley (MS) on Friday. 

Investors are also likely to keep a close eye on whether more prime brokerages follow Credit Suisse (CS) in tightening hedge fund limits following the Archegos Capital fallout.

But before that, the Dow (^DJI), the S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Nasdaq futures (^IXIC) will be tested on Monday when the treasury auctions $38bn (£27.7bn) in 10-year notes. 

Some dovish speeches from the Federal Reserve also on the schedule. The Fed will hosts an event on racism and the economy on Tuesday, followed by a speech from chair Jerome Powell at the Economic Club of Washington on Wednesday. 

Data wise it is a busy week for the US. Tuesday will see the release of the inflation reading for March, with the standard number set to increase from 0.4% to 0.5%, the core figure is looking to climb from 0.1% to 0.2%.

On Wednesday, import prices are set to fall from 1.3% to 1.0%. 

The most important report will come on Thursday, when monthly retail sales for March are published, with expectation of a month-on-month rebound from from -3.0% to 4.5%. On the same day the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, industrial production, and jobless claims are out.

Eurozone: Region-wide inflation and retail sales, ZEW economic sentiment

a woman walks pass a reduced price sign in the city center of Bonn, Germany on March 31, 2021 as city bonn launches shopping with 24 hours coronavirus negative test due to increasing infection cases in Germany (Photo by Ying Tang/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A woman walks pass a reduced price sign in the city center of Bonn, Germany on 31 March 2021. Eurozone-wide retail sales are out on Monday. Photo: Ying Tang/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The region's economic schedule is packed with plenty of releases to keep investors busy. 

First up on the docket, Eurozone-wide retail sales on Monday, followed by the ZEW economic sentiment readings on Tuesday, industrial production on Wednesday, German and French inflation on Thursday. 

Finally closing out a busy week, the region-wide CPI figure on Friday.

Outside of that coronavirus and the issues about vaccines supplies — blood clot claims continue to beleaguer the continent's rollout programme.

On Thursday, the EMA concluded there was a probable link between rare forms of blood clotting and AstraZeneca's jab. Germany responded by restricting AstraZeneca shots to residents under the age of 60.

However, the watchdog said the side effect was "very rare" and benefits continued to outweigh risks.

On Friday EMA commenced a "review" of the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by J&J subsidiary Janssen, following reports that some patients who had received it had developed blood clots.

WATCH: What is inflation and why is it important?