Market Preview –  Mar 27 to Apr 2

The Week Ahead Eventful political environments around the globe are adding further intrigue to currency markets as we head towards the end of the first quarter of 2017. The AUD has opened the week just above 0.7600 USD and the NZD has held on to 0.7000 against the greenback.
A relatively quiet economic data week awaits us with the more significant global data due to be released from late Thursday evening through Friday night. The early stages of the week are interespersed with numerous speeches by US Federal Reserve FOMC members and these will be of considerable interest following the Fed’s recent decision to raise interest rates. US GDP and unemployment data late Thursday will be closely watched as will the Fed’s preferred price data, the Core PCE Price Index alongside personal spending and income figures on Friday.
Australian data this week is limited to new home sales and private sector credit whilst in New Zealand building consents and business confidence figures are the only highlight. Australian markets will be gearing up for next week’s RBA meeting and will likely pay at least some attention to RBA Assistant Governor Debelle’s speech at an FX conference in Sydney this week.
The British parliament is this week expected to trigger Article 50 to commence Brexit negotiations with the EU that could take upto two years to complete. There are also plans for the British parliament to to start converting numerous EU laws into British law to help smoothe the transition following the separation. Consumer confidence, house price data and GDP figures for the UK are due for release on Friday.
The failure of the US congress to vote on the healthcare bill last week has added an element of further intrigue to the Trump administration’s policy agenda. Tax reform proposals will now start to attract heavier scrutiny and the healthcare bill’s fate shows that nothing can be taken for granted by the administration despite Republican congressional and senate majorities. Goods trade data for the US will be released early in the week anfd this result will be closely watched considering the global political ramifications of the Trump administration’s trade policies.
Eurozone data this week will be dominated by the CPI figures late in the week. Oil prices have seen the headline inflation rate increase in recent months however the underlying figure remains softer. An increase in the underlying inflation data could see the ECB seek to amend its policy setting at its next meeting.
Chinese data is quiet this week althoughsignificant. PMI data will be released on Friday with the market looking for any deviation from general expectations. Japanese data this week is also skewed towards the back end of the week with household spending, unemployment and CPI the standouts.

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