After NFP, U.S. Inflation and Retail Sales Come Under The Spotlight, U.K. CPI and BOC Rate Awaited
U.S. stocks dropped on Friday, weighed by mounting geopolitical concerns over U.S. air strikes against Syria and weaker than expected nonfarm payrolls data. At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.03%, while the S&P 500 index fell 0.08%, and the NASDAQ Composite index declined 0.02%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday reported that Nonfarm payrolls grew by just 98,000 in March, well below expectations of 180,000. However, the unemployment rate declined to a 10-year low of 4.5% while average hourly earnings increased only 5 cents or 0.2 percent in March after rising 0.3 percent in February.
In the week ahead, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is set to speak at the University of Michigan at late Monday with markets expecting that her comments will provide new insight on policy and the timing of when the Fed will next raise interest rates.
The U.S. economic calendar will remain quiet until Thursday when the government releases a wide range of reports which show data on producer price inflation, jobless claims and consumer sentiment. On Friday, the Commerce Department will publish March inflation figures which are forecast to ease up 0.1%. Core inflation is expected to increase 0.2%.
At the same time on Friday, the Commerce Department is due to release data on retail sales for March. The report is anticipated to show retail sales fell 0.1% last month, after gaining 0.1% in February. Core sales may inch up by 0.2%, after rising 0.2% a month earlier.
As for the British Pound, which closed lower last week, the U.K. Office for National Statistics will release data on consumer price inflation for March on Tuesday. Analysts expect consumer prices to keep up the pace from a month earlier, rising 2.3%. On Wednesday, the ONS is about to publish the monthly jobs report. The claimant count change is expected to decrease by 3,000 in March and wage growth including bonuses is forecast to rise 2.2%. Meanwhile, jobless rate may have held steady at 4.7%.
The Bank of Canada is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a policy statement outlining economic conditions and the factors affecting the policy decision on Wednesday, followed by Australia’s monthly employment report on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, China is to release March trade figures which are expected to show the country’s trade surplus widened to $10.0 billion last month from a surprise deficit of $9.15 billion in February. Exports may have climbed 3.2% in March from a year earlier, following a decline of 1.3% a month ago, while imports are expected to rise 18.0%, after increasing 38.1% in February.