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Diary: RBA, Local Earnings, RBNZ, BoE

For some, the Super Bowl later today will be the biggest event this week, for many others it will be ‘what is going to happen now after the market fell out of bed on Friday night?' Then there’s those interested in the decisions of central banks in Australia, the UK and NZ this week.

There’s also the acceleration of the Australian December half (and in some cases full 2017) financial reporting season, and more than 90 major companies reporting in the US, plus results from the UK and Europe. Watch for the CBA’s figures on Wednesday.

For Australia, the Reserve Bank’s meeting and decision tomorrow is the big news (though the sell off today in the market will grab first up attention). It will be a busy week for the central bank.

The bank will keep rates steady at tomorrows meeting which will also consider the first Statement on Monetary Policy for the year to be released on Friday, but before then Governor Phil Lowe speaks in Sydney on Thursday in his first major public appearance of the year.

Growth and inflation forecasts in the Monetary policy Statement will be watched closely by economists and investors for any upgrade.

On the data front the December (and calendar 207) trade balance is out on (Thursday, along with December retail sales (and 4th quarter). While the market is looking at a small fall in December, the strong October and November data will boost December quarter real retail sales. Housing finance for December is out Friday.

Across the Tasman, the RBNZ is expected to keep interest rates on hold when it announces its policy decision early Thursday morning.

Inflation turned out to be lower than forecast in the final quarter and in 2017, and growth was a bit stronger and better balanced, while the housing sector has cooled a little , there are more recent signs of price growth reappearing.

And in the UK, the Bank of England is expected to keep interest rates on hold when it reveals its policy decision on Thursday night (our time). Brexit and its continuing impact on the economy and the pound remains the big concerns for the bank.

In Europe, the European Central Bank meets, but it is not a policy meeting.

In the US, its back to shutdown risk with the latest Federal Government funding extension expiring on Thursday.

Dr Oliver points out that several issues remain sticking points including a solution for “Dreamers” so another shutdown is possible. “the Democrats are aware of the political risks of pushing this issue too far particularly as their polling lead is now declining, so any further shutdown is likely to be brief and the economic impact will remain trivial,” he wrote.

On the data front, the US January non-manufacturing conditions index (out tonight) and job openings tomorrow night, but the trade deficit (also Tuesday) is likely to rise, despite the weaker greenback.

December quarter earnings results will also continue to flow with around 90 S&P 500 companies due to report.

Chinese trade data for February on Thursday is expected to show a pick up in import growth for January with export growth remaining solid.

Inflation data for January (out on Friday) is likely to show annual consumer price inflation slowing to 1.5% and producer price inflation slowing to 4%

View More Articles By Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.



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