Card transaction data today, PMI on Friday

Several points of hard data are due this week for market traders to analyse and react to, Craigs Investment Partners broker Chris Timms says.

Data highlights include electronic card transactions today,  the BNZ-BusinessNZ Performance in Manufacturing Index on Friday and possibly the Real Estate Institute data on the same day.

Last month, evidence of a softer housing market continued, particularly in Auckland, Mr Timms said.

Nationwide volumes in July were up marginally on a year earlier as auction numbers fell slightly.Days to sell increased from 37 to 41 in Auckland, despite flat prices and lower inventory.

Elsewhere, days to sell rose by one day to 36.

The Auckland house price index was flat for July but remained down from earlier in the year and was just 1.6% higher than a year earlier, he said.

The rest of the country was up 1.1% during July and 8% higher over the past 12 months.

In Australia, the August labour force report was due on Thursday.

After a weak result last month, markets would be looking for a rebound.

In July, 3900 jobs were lost compared with expectations of a 15,000 gain.

"This was really just the monthly volatility and play after a bumper result the previous month."

For August, expectations were for 19,000 jobs to have been added and for the unemployment rate to remain steady at 5.3%, Mr Timms said.

The European Central Bank met in Frankfurt on Thursday to discuss monetary policy.

With the ECB having outlined a plan to start reducing its stimulus back in June, it was unlikely there would be a change of stance this week.

Monthly quantitative easing purchases were expected to fall to  €1.6 billion ($NZ2.83 billion) after September. Net purchases would finish before the end of the year, he said.

Next year, the focus would move to the length of reinvestments the ECB would make, and the timing of the first rise in interest rates.

ECB president Mario Draghi previously said interest rates would remain unchanged at least through the summer of 2019.

"This suggests the ECB will have two opportunities to raise rates in 2019 — in early September and late October."

Mr Draghi’s non-renewable eight-year term as president of the ECB would end in October 2019, meaning the October meeting would be his last at the helm, Mr Timms said.

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