Friday had the markets full attention with the release of the US Employment figures shortly after lunch time. As many had expected, the number of jobs added for the month of February came out at 235k, surpassing the forecast of 200k. Overall unemployment fell, as anticipated, to stand at 4.7%. The Average Earning figure was the only dampener as it did not increase and remained constant at 0.2% on the previous month.
This data was no doubt noted by the FOMC members who may use it to support the potential rising of interest rates at this Wednesday's meeting. Although this did not spur a rush into the Greenback, this could be that markets are simply holding off until the rate rise materializes and the stance of Fed Chair Janet Yellen who will give the proceeding statement.
Today could see Prime Minister Theresa May formally launch the departure of Britain from the EU by triggering Article 50, and starting the beginning of the two-year process of negotiating the break from the 27 EU countries zone. This comes after MP’s are unlikely to gather the support needed to block Theresa May in the House of Commons today. The critical questions remain as to what if no deal can be agreed and the course of action in leaving the EU?
A light day in regards to data being released with only the German ZEW economic sentiment hitting the wires in the morning, followed by the monthly Industrial production figure for the Eurozone, this forecasted to show a positive reading for this sector. In the afternoon, the Product Price index from the US is due to show a decline in producer prices in February.
Wednesday sees a wealth of data being released. Insight into UK employment will be given in the morning with the release of the Claimant count, Average Earnings and Unemployment rate figures hitting the wires at the same time. No big change is expected to be seen, as the Unemployment rate is to stay at 4.8%. Shortly after lunch the US are to post their Inflation figure which is anticipated to show an increase on the yearly gauge to 2.7%. However, the main focus will be on the Federal Reserve meeting in the evening, where markets are expecting the first rise to be actioned by the FOMC members this year.
The Bank of England meet to decide on the interest rate and current QE program. However, with no monetary policy changes expected to be made, the focus will be on the press conference that follows. Mark Carney, Head of the BoE will speak about the current economic conditions, plus any possible changes the MPC could implement if needed. From the Eurozone, the yearly inflation figure is expected to stay true at 2%. Later in the afternoon sees the US releasing their JOLTS job openings and the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, with both gauges expected to show less growth than previously posted.
The last day of a packed week closes with little to no data being released. The only data will come from the US as the monthly Industrial Production is set to show a slight increase in activity for February. Shortly after, the first reading of the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment gauge is due to also show a more positive figure.