Welcome to "The Long & Short of the Week Ahead", a production of Eurizon SLJ Capital that takes a look at the macro-economic themes of the week ahead and has been recorded for professional investors.
My name is Matt Jones, Head of Distribution for Eurizon SLJ Capital, and I'm joined by Neil Staines, Senior Portfolio Manager.
Welcome back, Neil. It's great to have you here with us again.
Thank you very much Matt. It's great to be here.
So as we look into next week, there's a continuation of a theme really looking at data prints both from Europe and the US. So I will say no more. Can you instead tell us what you're gonna be keeping an eye on in the week ahead?
Absolutely. Yeah. Thanks Matt, this week has been very interesting. The semi-annual Powell testimony to Congress got the week off to a volatile start. With the Fed chair seemingly opening the door, to the prospect of a 50 basis point hike on the 22nd, only to slightly row back on his comments in favor of data dependence. The rest of the week was about payrolls, which at least in the short aftermath since the figures, has arguably not provided enough to justify a step up in the Fed reaction function, relief in rates and dollar markets. But the volatility does not stop here. There is plenty to keep markets on their toes next week.
Firstly, we get the ECB policy decision. Now in February, the ECB raised rates by 50 basis points, and President Lagarde stated clearly that they intend to raise by another 50 basis points, at the next meeting in March. Since then, higher than expected inflation prints stronger than expected growth outcomes, and consistent governing council narratives have done little to alter market perceptions. However, with 50 basis points almost completely priced by the market, the real focus of the meeting is likely on the ECB narrative, on the growth evolution, particularly, in interest rate sensitivity, and the guidance on future rate rises in particular, the emphasis on the data dependence, relative to the assertion that more is needed on rates. The QT pace may al also be, a discussion point. But the rate path sensitivity to growth is our key focus.
Secondly, we get the employment reports in both the UK and Australia. In Australia. The importance, as we highlighted last week comes from the fact that the RBA's 2023 Hawkishness, has been tempered, so far, due to a pullback in the official, inflation measure for January. A weaker employment report would be a third consecutive week report, and as the RBA have noted, would likely have material implications for policy, and the Australia rate and dollar paths. In the UK there have been some recent signs, at least, that some of the pandemic exodus is returning to the labor market. Now, this, kind of labor market rebalancing alongside some continued economic weakness, albeit inclusive of a better than expected January GDP print, likely suggest that the Bank of England are at or very near terminal rates, despite market pricing reaching almost a hundred basis points of additional hikes, this week. A topic that we touch on in this week's blog. Now in the UK this week, we also get the budget. My view, is that the Sunak, Hunt partnership, will be keen for the spring budget to pass with as little comment or market implication as possible. Keeping a low profile and hoping that next year is more conducive for conservative policies, from a conservative government that might at least narrow, the huge polling deficit.
And then lastly, the big focus of the week will be the continuation of the US data. Following on from this week's employment report. Really the non-conclusive outcome shift the emphasis to the data of next week, CPI, PPI, and retail sales. The combination of which will determine the Fed reaction function for their policy meeting the week after. The focus is likely to be split across, the February readings, relative to expectations and any revisions to the January data, and any residual or retrospective signals on seasonality as a guide to future prints and underlying growth momentum. Another huge week for markets, where rates and FX vol, and the implications for risk assets will be high and active, and with such important data next week, don't forget, US clocks go back this weekend so the data will be one hour earlier than we might otherwise expect.
A good tip and thank you for the reminder, on the topic of, high expectations and active, it's a busy weekend for sport. Perhaps you can just give us a bit of a run through as to what you're going to be keeping an eye on this weekend.
Absolutely. Lovely segue there, Matt. I think, sports, we've got a full premiership schedule with the focus shifting to the relegation battle. Plenty of top versus bottom classes this weekend and with six points separating the bottom nine clubs, all to fight for there. Formula one, take a break, on the way to Saudi Arabia next. But it seems a lot of work to be done by the chasing pack, to keep pace with the Red Bulls. Cricket, T 20 England versus Bangladesh, in the first match will catch my attention. But for me, it's all about the rugby England versus, France in the afternoon, proceeded by Italy versus Wales and Scotland and Ireland on Sunday. And all of this set against a relaxing backdrop of the Gulf, with the player's championship from sawgrass.
Fantastic. You couldn't really ask for more. Thank you for joining us once again and outlining your thoughts on the week ahead. I look forward to catching up with you again next week.
Thank you for joining us for "The Long and Short of the Week Ahead". Further insights are available on our website eurizonsljcapital.com/insights. We look forward to you joining us again next week for more insights into macro-economic events and "The Long and Short of the Week Ahead".
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