Week In Focus: Central Bank Rate Decisions Take Focus This Week

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Includes: DIA, IWM, QQQ, SPY
by: RANsquawk

Summary

Central bank rate decisions take focus this week, with the Bank of England, Swiss National Bank, Reserve Bank of New Zealand Central Bank of Russia all due out.

US economic calendar is relatively light compared to last week, with highlights including the latest retail sales and JOLTs job openings.

JOLTs is known to be significant to the Fed and a strong reading could further reinforce the view that the US economy is ready to withstand a rate hike.

With an eventful week behind us, the calendar this week is slightly less action packed, however with plenty still to look ahead to. After last week saw the OPEC meeting, US nonfarm payrolls report and the ECB meeting, similar themes will remain in focus, with the fallout of the OPEC decision likely to still be felt around asset classes. As a reminder, Friday saw softness go through the energy complex, the likes of CAD and RUB as well as energy names in equity markets, while upside was seen in precious metals and fixed income in the wake of the meeting and as such the softer energy prices may still remain in focus this week. The most notable events this week take the form of central bank rate decisions, with the BoE, SNB, RBNZ and Russian central bank all scheduled to meet to assess rates.

Of the above central banks, only action by the BoE is expected to be extremely unlikely, with the RBNZ and Central Bank of Russia under some further pressure due to low commodity prices, while Russia is also impacted by the ongoing economic sanctions against the country. Separately, there were some outside calls suggesting that the SNB could act, with CHF seeing significant strength in recent weeks, however the less dovish than expected ECB announcement last week has eased pressure on their Swiss counterparts. Analysts at Nordea Bank also note that if the SNB were concerned about strength seen in CHF, their first port of call would be FX intervention before deciding on a further deposit rate cut.

Finally, data from the US is relatively light this week, with the notable highlights coming in the form of retail sales and JOLTs job openings. It would take a significantly soft number for either of these data points to alter the Fed's timing of a rate hike, and while retail sales are expect to grow at a faster rate than last month, the JOLTs figure is known to be significant to the Fed and as such a strong reading could further reinforce the Fed's belief that the US economy is ready to withstand a rate hike.

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