The week-long Chinese Lunar New Year festival begins today, with Chinese markets closed through to next Friday. Every year this festival brings with it a surge in economic activity heading into the holiday, followed by a week of inactivity, followed by a recovery thereafter.
As Beijing does not seasonally adjust its data, every year brings apparent economic distortions at this time which need to be taken into context across a wider period.
But this year is different. This year the coronavirus will heavily impact on the festival, and thus on the Chinese economy, to an extent yet to be revealed.
Meanwhile, Australian markets are closed on Monday to provide an Australia Day long weekend.
The coronavirus, which the who’s WHO of the medical world is yet to fully come to grips with, is currently holding stock markets in China and regional Asia to ransom, along with particular sectors of the US market, right through to impacts felt in the Australian market, including the flow-on from commodity price weakness as a result of perceived Chinese and global economic constraint.
The coronavirus will remain the focus of markets next week.
The Fed will hold a policy meeting next week that will be one of the least anticipated of recent times.
Australia will see the release of the December quarter CPI numbers, which will go some way to informing the RBA’s policy decision in February, but yesterday’s strong jobs data appear to have already delayed a rate cut, as has house price resurgence.
The last of the resource sector quarterly production reports are due next week, the stragglers being Oil Search ((OSH)), Evolution Mining ((EVN)), OZ Minerals ((OZL)), Regis Resources ((RRL)) and Fortescue Metals ((FMG)).
We can also added to that list IGO Ltd ((IGO)), the artist formerly known as Independence Group (this trend of changing your name to your stock code is becoming a bit tedious), but IGO will also release its interim earnings report, well before it ever used to.