During the week ahead the market is likely to look towards a number of key market themes and events which have the potential to indicate financial market moves.
The release of EU PMI numbers for the first month of the new year are going to be crucial for the euro and European stocks are traders and investors gauge the manufacturing and service sectors in Europe.
UK PMI data, the release of the Bank of Japan minutes, and a raft of important ISA data releases are also on the cards this week.
EU PMI Data
Expectations are for the Eurozone-wide manufacturing PMI to rise to 48.5 from 47.8, and for the Services PMI to move back into expansionary territory at 50.2 from the previous 49.8 reading.
The upcoming release, Capital Economics agrees with the consensus view for the composite reading, noting that “the ZEW and Sentix measures of investor sentiment rose strongly in January, and they have sometimes been good leading indicators of the PMI in the past.”
Moving forward, if PMI releases surprise to the upside, this could give policymakers confidence to proceed with a more aggressive path for rates, and therefore dispel speculation that the ECB could step down to a 25bps hike by March; however, the upcoming report may come too early to have any meaningful impact on that debate.
UK Flash PMI (Tue):
Expectations are for UK services PMI to hold steady at 49.9, manufacturing to tick higher to 45.7 from 45.3, leaving the composite at 49.3. The prior report was characterised by both services and manufacturing recording falls in new business.
From a policy perspective, the latest jobs and inflation metrics from the UK saw expectations for the February meeting swing further towards a 50bps move.
A stronger-than-forecast release will likely cement these calls, whilst a miss on expectations will be unlikely to swing pricing in favour of a smaller 25bps move. The GBPUSD pair is very well bid now, so only a disastrous number would likely effect sterling.
BoC Policy Announcement (Wed):
The central bank has kept its policy options open, meaning that an unchanged outcome, 25bps hike and even another 50bps hike are all possibilities. Canadian bank RBC is modelling a 70% chance that the BoC raises by 25bps, a 20% probability of a larger 50bps move, and assigns a 10% chance of an unchanged decision.
It looks for the January statement to use similar language to the December version; RBC says “this means making it clear that it could be the last hike, but not committing to it and leaving the data to determine the near-term rate path.”
Core PCE is expected to rise 0.2% M/M in December, matching the rate seen in the November data. However, many have caveated that view around incoming data, suggesting that if there is an upside surprise within the PCE data, then pricing for 50bps could pick up once again
Analysts at Credit Suisse are looking for a rise of 0.3% M/M, which would still be enough to see the annual measure of core PCE pare back to 4.5% Y/Y from 4.7% previously.
If the bank is correct, then the annual core measure will fall to the lowest since Q4 2021, and this could be encouraging for Fed dovs who are expecting less aggressive rate hiking next month.