Investors head into a busy week following the long Easter holiday weekend with the kick-off of earnings season and a key meeting of the IMF and World Bank this coming weekend.
The main event last week came with markets closed on Friday as the March jobs report showed hiring slowed in the U.S. economy last month, though likely not by enough to forestall another rate hike from the Federal Reserve next month.
Data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics showed there were 236,000 jobs added to the economy last month while the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%.
March inflation figures on Wednesday will be closely watched to see if price pressures have eased enough to dampen the Federal Reserve’s appetite for further aggressive rate hikes.
Economists expect core consumer price inflation, which excludes food and fuel costs, to rise 0.4% on a month-over-month basis, for an annual increase of 5.6%, up from 5.5% in February.
The inflation data is coming on the heels of the latest U.S. jobs report which pointed to persistent tightness in the labour market, adding to bets for the Fed to hike rates again at their May 2-3 policy meeting as risks to financial stability ease.
The economic calendar also features March retail sales data on Friday, with economists expecting another decline as elevated inflation erodes households’ spending power. Reports on initial jobless claims and producer price inflation will be released on Thursday.
The Fed is to publish the minutes of its March meeting on Wednesday which will be scrutinised for clues about the appetite for further policy tightening as well as officials’ views on the health of the financial system.
Fed policymakers voted unanimously to raise interest rates for the ninth straight time in March, indicating that combating inflation remains their top priority.
The Bank of Canada is to hold its latest policy setting meeting on Wednesday and is widely expected to leave rates unchanged again having indicated that rates are already likely at the peak despite continued signs of strength in the economy.
With all these reports and more, have your trading charts ready!
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