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The US labour market holds the key once more as market participants look to see how employment is holding up in the wake of the Fed’s rate hikes. The monthly nonfarm payrolls returns are on Friday - after January’s monster report blew apart expectations that the Fed would seek to pivot soon. Meanwhile, attention is on global central banks, with the Reserve Bank of Australia, Bank of Canada and Bank of Japan all in action.

 

Here are the week’s key events: 

Monday

The week kicks off with a clutch of fairly low impact data releases. These include Swiss CPI inflation, the Eurozone Sentix investor confidence survey data and the Canada Ivey PMI. US factory orders data is also due up, but the main focus is on the upcoming central bank decisions and US labour market data later in the week. 

  

Tuesday

The Reserve Bank of Australia faces a little less pressure to hike rates aggressively after the country’s annual inflation rate eased in January. This follows a reacceleration in the final quarter of 2022 to a 33-year high. The consumer price index for the month was 7.4%, compared with 8.4% for December. In spite of this the RBA seems likely to go ahead with a further 25bps hike, taking the cash rate to 3.6%. 

Earnings:  CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD) 

 

Wednesday

Three weeks ago, Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said no further interest rate rises would be needed if the economy stagnated and inflation falls. Q4 data out last week showed a surprise flat line, backing up the decision to signal a pause. Nevertheless, inflationary pressures, not least those coming from the US which are forcing up the US dollar against the CAD, mean rate hikes remain on the table. JOLTS job openings and the ADP employment report will be eyed for the state of the US labour market ahead of the nonfarm payrolls. 

Earnings: Asana (ASAN) 

 

Thursday

China’s PPI and CPI inflation indices will the major focus after a mixed set of numbers in January. CPI ticked up to 2.1% from 1.8% in December, whilst the monthly rate jumped to +0.8% from 0% in the prior month. PPI, on the other hand, declined 0.8% in January. Additionally, traders will also pay attention to the weekly unemployment claims figures from the US. 

Earnings:  DocuSign (DOCU) 

 

Friday

All eyes will be on the US labour market report as the Fed has switched into a newly data-dependent mode. Stocks have been under pressure and bond yields higher. This comes after January nonfarm payrolls blew well beyond previous forecasts, pointing to a more resilient labour market that won’t be shouting at the Fed to pause hikes. Nonfarm Payrolls rose by 517,000 in January, average hourly earnings rose 4.4%, compared to analysts' estimate of 4.9%, whilst the unemployment rate dropped to 3.4%.

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