As the world continues to try and get to grips with the coronavirus crisis, the markets are facing a potentially grim run of data.
UK: Stimulus measures and economic data
At the moment it is quite difficult to do a preview of the week’s trading. Various stimulus measures from governments and central banks have been coming thick and fast, without much warning and with wildly inconsistent reactions from investors, making it tricky to predict when and what will arrive next.
Similarly it is unclear how much the markets are still paying attention to specific numbers related to new cases and deaths, like they were when outbreak began in China.
What we do know, however, is that there is plenty of data for investors to get their hands on this week, though it will be of varying value in regards to ascertaining the impact of the crisis.
The most important day will most likely be Tuesday, which sees a wave of flash manufacturing and services PMIs for March. In the UK the final manufacturing PMI reading for February was 51.7, with its services counterpart at 53.2; for March the reaction may be dictated by just how far into contraction territory they have fallen.
Wednesday then sees the inflation reading from February. Though arguably less important than the PMIs, investors will still be curious to see whether the bounce from 1.3% in December to 1.8% in January was sustained across another month.
As for Thursday, the retail sales for February are joined by the first scheduled meeting for new Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey. Having already cut interest rates to a record low 0.1%, alongside restarting the bank’s bond buying programme, Bailey has had perhaps the most stressful start to a job imaginable. Investors will be incredibly interested to see what he has to say – that’s if he isn’t forced to make any more impromptu announcements before Thursday.
UK: Stocks to watch
Elsewhere the corporate calendar includes updates from AG Barr, Kingfisher and Fevertree on Tuesday, and Moss Bros and Bellway on Wednesday.
US: Further unscheduled interventions
Like the UK, the US has already seen regular, unscheduled interventions by the Trump government and the Federal Reserve, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that continue this week. If anything, it’s the expectation.
As for data, the US also sees its flash manufacturing and services PMIs on Tuesday, followed by the durable goods orders data on Wednesday, the final GDP reading for Q4 – effectively a different universe at this point – on Thursday, and the core PCE price index figures on Friday.
Eurozone: ECB announcements expected
Echoing the sentiments above, the Eurozone can perhaps expect further announcements from the ECB this week, as well as from the governments of its composite members.
Beyond that, the French, German and region-wide flash PMIs arrive on Tuesday, with the German Ifo business climate reading then coming on Wednesday.
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