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Weekly Overview 18th-22nd May 2020

Simon Alagbe


The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell delivered a webcast at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, D.C on Thursday. Mr Powell at the webcast highlighted the measures taken so far by the bank to offset the economic effects of the virus while calling on governments around the world to quickly respond with measures to support workers who recently lost income and businesses that are either closed or have witnessed a sharp decline in their activity. 

Crude prices have stabilized in the last three weeks as a rebound in demand coupled with a significant drop in supply as supported the commodity. The gradual reopening of major economies after the global lockdown has surged demand with the return of cars to the road and re-opening of closed industries.  OPEC and its allies cut supply by 5.96 million barrels per day since the 1st of May and the impact is gradually being felt in the market.

In the week ending May 9, a decrease of 195,000 from the previous week’s level was noticed in the jobless claim data released by the US Department of Labor as 2,981,000 individuals filed for unemployment claims. This week’s data has brought the 2-months rolling data to over 36 million individuals. The fitful re-opening commenced in some states with some re-called workers facing reduced work hours due to risk of infection but this will eventually reduce the number of individuals filing for the insurance in the near term. 

With this in mind, let's have a look at events that will further impact the direction of the financial market next week. 

Monday 18th May

Activities and updates from the weekend are expected to dominate sentiment as there is no expected high-impact economic data set for this day.

Tuesday 19th May

AUD: Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes will be released by the Reserve Bank of Australia by 2:30 am. The minute is a detailed record of the last meeting of the board of the bank and it provides insight into the economic condition of Australia upon which the rate decisions were based. 

GBP: Claimant Count Change will be released by the Office for National Statistics by 7 am. It measures the change in the number of persons filing for unemployment benefits in the previous month. 

USD: Building Permits will be released by the Census Bureau by 1:30 pm. This data measures the annualized number of new residential building permits issued the previous month. 

Wednesday 20th May

GBP: CPI y/y will be released by the Office for National Statistics by 7 am. The data measures the change in the price of goods and services purchased by consumers by comparing the average price of goods and services this year to the same period last year.

CAD: CPI m/m to be released by Statistics Canada by 1:30 pm

USD: FOMC Meeting Minutes from the Federal Reserve by 7 pm. It is a detailed record of the most recent FOMC meeting. 

Thursday 21st May

GBP: Flash Services PMI and Flash Manufacturing PMI will be released by Markit at 9:30 am. 

USD: Philly Fed Manufacturing Index and Unemployment Claims will be released by 1:30 PM.

USD: Flash Manufacturing PMI set to be released by 2:45 pm. 

NZD: Retail Sales q/q will be released by Statistics New Zealand by 11:45 pm. It measures the change in the total value of inflation-adjusted sales at the retail level. 

Friday 22nd May

GBP: Retail Sales m/m will be released by the Office for National Statistics by 7 am. 

EUR: Manufacturing PMI, as well as Flash Services PMI data, will be released from France and Germany by 8:15 am and 8:30 am respectively. While the Bloc’s Manufacturing PMI and Flash Services PMI comes out by 9 am. 

CAD: Core Retail Sales m/m will be released by 1:30 pm. Positive data will boost the commodity supported Loonie.

Time is GMT+1

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