Diary: Central Bank Minutes, US Retail Earnings, US-China Trade Hopes

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

A quiet week globally and in Australia with third-quarter US earnings reports trailing off, economic data in its usual late month trough and China’s monthly economic data out of the way.

The major area of interest though will be the progress in any deal on the Trump administration’s trade war with China and the preliminary reports of manufacturing and service sector activity for November to be released late in the week.

Wall Street’s new highs will generate more interest and speculation about how long they can last – our market is only 1.2% away from the all-time high reached in late July.

In Australia, the release of the minutes of this month’s Reserve Bank monetary policy meeting will be examined as usual for any more idea as to the central bank’s policy stance.

But as usual, that will be fruitless because the current stance was laid out in the 4th Statement on Monetary Policy for the year which was highlighted in the post-meeting statement from Governor Philip Lowe and released three days after the November 5 meeting.

But some analysts and business media will no doubt make a big song and dance about it tomorrow.

There are not many data releases here or globally – the flash reports on business conditions and skilled job vacancies.

In the US, the focus will also be on the minutes of the last central bank policy meeting (in late October) – this time it will be the Fed’s minutes.

US economic activity if anything has slowed a little since then with new job growth slowing in October, retail sales are OK but are showing signs of weakness, car sales were lower than in September and production data is weakening as well.

The US economy grew an unchanged 1.9% in the September quarter and last week’s mixed data saw the Atlantic Fed cut its forecast growth rate for the current 4th quarter to 0.3% from 1%.

Fed Chair, Jerome Powell made it clear last week that he doesn’t see any urgent need for any more cuts to interest rates.

The early report on November business conditions to be released on Friday will see those forecasts for current growth updated.

US housing-related data is likely to show a solid rise in housing starts (Tuesday) and a rise in existing home sales (on Thursday).

US third-quarter earnings reports are almost exhausted – just another round of major retailers this week led by Target, Nordstrom, Home Depot, Lowes and Kohls.

In Europe, there’s the Brexit-dominated UK election campaign with the Tories well ahead, plus some key UK economic data that is expected to show how the economy is slowing and eurozone business conditions surveys for November on Friday.

In Asia, China’s central bank is expected to trim a key interest rate on Wednesday, Japanese trade data for October will be released, the Hong kong district elections will be held next Sunday and Japanese inflation figures will confirm why the Abe government is trying to cobble together a new stimulus package.

Inflation for October on Friday is expected to get a boost from the GST hike core data with the 2% rise excluded will show cost pressures remain weak.

The early business conditions survey results on Friday will be watched for some reversal of the tax hike related fall seen in October.

Glenn Dyer

About 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.

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