Fedspeak will be a focal point as the markets again look to debate the rate trajectory with fundamentals coming back into view. Will the Fed hike the three times projected by the dots, or will they go only one more time? Find out with this 2-6 April Weekly Forex Market Forecast.
2 April, HotForex – It was a rough and tumble Q1 for stock and bond bulls as global asset markets suffered losses of varying degrees. The Dow and S&P declined in the January to March period for the first time since Q2 2015. The pain was exacerbated given the stellar Q4 results.
The three-month MSCI All Country Index was off as well. While there were various explanations for the declines in asset values, less accommodative monetary policy, geopolitical risks, and signs of slowing economic momentum certainly featured.
2-6 April Weekly Forex Market Forecast
This week should be a consolidative one ahead of key data and events, and the advent of the Q1 earnings season in one-week time. We believe still-solid fundamentals, including tight labor markets and strong confidence measures, point to a rebound in equities and a bounce in bond yields.
United States Market Overview
The U.S. markets managed to rebound on Thursday, the last day of Q1, supported by month- and quarter-end flows. There was also some easing in trade tensions, a better than expected Q4 GDP result, and signs of health consumer and business confidence. Fed fears have receded too since Chairman Powell’s Monetary Policy Report, and as inflation pressures have ebbed too.
Cautious trading should characterize this week as the markets assess recent actions, while looking ahead to the jobs report (Friday). Fed Chairman Powell’s comments (Friday) on the economic outlook will be eagerly awaited too. March nonfarm payrolls (Friday) will be the usual highlight. The manufacturing and services ISMs will also be key for the economic outlook heading into Q2. The manufacturing index for March (Monday) is seen slipping to 60.0 after the unexpected jump to 60.8 in February, a 13-year high.
The March services index (Wednesday) should drop to 59.0 from February’s 59.5 and the 12-year high of 59.9 from January. Other confidence measures for March have shrugged off the turmoil thanks to buoyant optimism regarding future growth.
March auto sales (Tuesday) will contribute importantly to the spending outlook as well. Also on tap this week are February construction spending (Monday), the ADP survey of private payrolls (Wednesday), February factory orders (Wednesday), and February trade (Thursday).
Fedspeak will be a focal point as the markets again look to debate the rate trajectory with fundamentals coming back into view — will the Fed hike the three times projected by the dots, or will they go only one more time, or three more times this year? All eyes will be on Chairman Powell who speaks on the economic outlook (Friday at 13:30 ET).
His comments and the morning’s jobs report will help give the markets big directional guideposts. His pragmatic outlook from his Monetary Policy Report, along with some easing in inflation numbers, helped soothe market fears of a more hawkish FOMC.
Canada Market Overview
The Canadian calendar this week features March employment (Friday), which is expected to reveal a 25.0k gain in total jobs following the 15.4k gain in February. The unemployment rate is projected to hold at 5.8%, a 40-year low. The trade deficit (Thursday) is expected to widen to -C$2.1 bln in February from -C$1.9 bln in January. The Markit manufacturing PMI is due Monday, while the Ivey PMI is scheduled for a Friday release.
Europe Market Drivers
It’s another holiday-shortened week with most European markets still closed on Monday for the Easter holidays. Traders will welcome the break after a pretty stressful month, and quarter, that saw a surge in volatility, along with a drop in equity prices and an uptick in Gilt and Bund yields.
But, the start of the new quarter is a chance for markets to settle down somewhat. Geopolitical risks have eased slightly, there is less concern of an all-out trade war, while in Europe there is more clarity on Brexit. Still, tech giants will remain under a cloud and global central banks remain on course to remove stimulus. The ECB has already started to shift the goal post to rate hike prospects for next year, which pretty much makes the phasing out of net asset purchases this year a done deal.
Yet, Draghi may wait until July before finally committing, and by then another short QE program to phase out the current EUR 30 bln may already be enough to keep the markets happy if he delivers it with a dovish guidance on rates. Still, that 2019 will be the year when rates clearly lift off is increasingly certain and volatility may remain high as markets adjust to the new normal.
This week’s data highlight is the preliminary Eurozone HICP inflation reading for March (Wednesday), where an acceleration is expected in the headline rate to 1.4% y/y from 1.1% y/y in the previous month. The March Eurozone manufacturing PMI (Tuesday) is expected to be confirmed at the 56.6 preliminary report, and is down from the 60.6 December print.
The services reading (Thursday) is projected at 55.3, and is off of the 58.0 high from January. These would leave the composite (Thursday) at 55.5, lower than the 57.1 in February, as well as the 58.8 January high. Despite the slippage, the numbers are still pointing to healthy levels of expansion. German manufacturing orders (Thursday) should rebound from the dip in February, while industrial production (Friday) is seen rising 0.1% m/m, after a drop of -0.1% m/m in January.
The overall picture is still that of slightly slowing growth momentum as the output gap starts to close, but gradually improving underlying inflation, the combination of which will leave the ECB on course to phase out QE this year.
UK Fundamental Events
London markets will return on Tuesday following the four-day Easter weekend. The calendar is quiet this week, highlighted by the release of the Markit PMI surveys for March on Tuesday, and the construction PMI (Wednesday) to ebb to a 51.0 reading after 51.4 in the month prior. The services PMI (Thursday) expected to slip to 54.0 (from 54.5.
As-expected data shouldn’t have much bearing on BoE policy expectations. Sterling markets are factoring about 80% odds for a 25 bp rate hike at the May Monetary Policy Committee meeting, which would coincide with the central bank’s next release of its quarterly inflation report.
Japan Market Outlook
The March Nikkei/Markit manufacturing PMI (Tuesday) is expected to rise to 54.3 (the March preliminary reading was 53.2) versus the 54.1 final February reading. March auto sales are also due Tuesday. February personal income and PCE (Friday), with the latter forecast slowing to 0.5% y/y, partly due to bad weather, from 2.0% previously.
The March services PMI (Wednesday) is penciled in at 54.9 from 54.7.
Australia Market Drivers
The Reserve Bank of Australia (Tuesday) is expected to maintain the current 1.50% rate setting, alongside a statement that is consistent with an eventual rate hike. The RBA expected to remain on hold well into this year, as growth and inflation gradually improve.
The data calendar has retail sales (Wednesday), seen rising 0.4% in February after the 0.1% gain in January. Building approvals (also Wednesday) are projected to fall 8.0% in February after a 17.1% surge in January. The trade surplus (Thursday) is expected to narrow to A$0.6 bln in February from the A$1.1 bln surplus in January.
The data and events calendars are blank. The Bank held rates steady at 1.75% in March and maintained that monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period.
This article about 2-6 April Weekly Forex Market Forecast was written by Andria Pichidi, Market Analyst at HotForex. The provided article is a general marketing communication for information purposes only. It does not constitute an independent investment research. Nothing in this communication contains an investment advice or an investment recommendation. It also does not contain a solicitation for the purpose of buying or selling of any financial instrument.
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