Central banks big indicators this week

Chris Timms
Chris Timms
Two high-profile central bank meetings take place this week which may provide insight into two of the world's largest economies.

The Bank of Japan meets tomorrow and Thursday and the European Central Bank (ECB) meets in Frankfurt on Thursday.

Craigs Investment Partners broker Chris Timms said the outcome of the Bank of Japan meeting should be known on Thursday afternoon.

Markets were expecting the bank to upgrade its economic growth forecasts in the face of solid exports and private consumption.

However, the Bank of Japan might also cut its relatively optimistic inflation outlook and push back the timing for Japan to reach the 2% inflation target.

``If this occurs, it will reinforce our view the Bank of Japan will lag well behind other central banks in paring back its stimulus target. This will weaken the yen and provide support to Japanese equities.''

Markets would look for clues on Thursday as to when the ECB might pare back its bond-buying scheme, Mr Timms said.

Most were expecting the ECB to formally signal in September it would be gradually wound down over the course of 2018. It remained to be seen how the ECB would achieve the winding down and some expected an extension with a one-off reduction and others predicting a more gradual wind-down, he said.

The global reporting season ramped up in the next few weeks. It started late last week when some of the United States financial heavyweights reported.

``Things get really busy this week and the following one,'' he said.

Australian June Labour Force Employment data was due tomorrow with a wide range of forecasts. In May, total employment rose 42,000 compared to a market forecast of 10,000. This time, markets were forecasting a rise of between 15,000 and 30,000.

Unemployment was expected to fall slightly to 5.5% in June as the participation rate increases.

Mr Timms said the highlight of the week would be the June quarter Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation figures due out today.

``This will be very interesting given the strength we saw in the previous quarter. In the three months to the end of March, inflation rose to an annual rate of 2.2%, above expectations for 2% and the highest level since the third quarter of 2011.''

Big lifts in food prices, alcohol/tobacco and fuel prices were a large part of the rise and many might be transitory, he said.

Oil prices were 9.4% lower in the second quarter and the New Zealand dollar had been relatively stable. On balance, the currency was unlikely to have a significant impact on inflation during the quarter but the fall in oil prices would probably drag it down a little, Mr Timms said.

The GlobalDairyTrade results were due early tomorrow morning. After six positive auctions in a row when the GDT index rose nearly 15% in the three months to early June, there had been two weaker results. Prices had fallen at the past two auctions, although only marginally so. On a year-to-date basis, the headline GDT was flat.

The latest travel and migration figures covering June, were due on Friday. Migration was strong again last month, rising to a net gain of 5900 people in May. While below monthly highs from 2016, May figures were robust and the annual increase reached a record high of nearly 72,000.


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