Last week, the United States and NATO were working to help Ukraine. However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues this week as Russia’s chief negotiator said no progress was being made on key political issues. Can the two sides reach a ceasefire agreement this week? OPEC+ also meets this week on Thursday. Will they increase production more than expected due to such high oil prices? Additionally, there was a lot of talk last week from Fed officials about a possible 50 basis point hike at an upcoming meeting. Will the markets continue to push yields higher? Additionally, this week the US will see the Fed’s favorite inflation measure, the Core PCE, and the week will culminate with the March Nonfarm Payrolls!
Talks are continuing, but little progress has been made. As a result, the Russian invasion continues. Last week, US President Joe Biden met with NATO allies and said he supported sending more NATO troops to the eastern border to stop Russia going further. Additionally, Biden and the EU reached an agreement to increase Europe’s supply of liquefied natural gas by 2022, which will reduce Europe’s dependence on Russia. The United States and NATO are also working on contingency plans in case Russia chooses to strike NATO territory. However, markets should also pay attention to China, as reports suggest it may be supplying Russia with semiconductors and other tech hardware. Could China help Russia prolong the war? Also, what are the ramifications for China if it supplies equipment to Russia?
OPEC+ is meeting this week on Thursday to discuss increasing oil production. Recently, the IEA said the world could face the biggest oil supply shock in decades. They also said 3 million bpd would be lost in the market if Russia were shut down. The last time OPEC+ met, the war had just begun. Since then, the EU has threatened to ban oil imports from Russia and the price has risen to a high of 129.42. On Friday, Joe Biden said he would consider supplying more oil from SPRs, possibly up to 30 million barrels. However, despite the increase in demand and prices, OPEC+ could stick to its plan and only increase production by 400,000 bpd, with Russia being one of the countries in this group ( the “more” group).
Federal Reserve Speakers
Last week, Fed officials came out in force to let the markets know they would do whatever it took to fight inflation. Last week, Powell said that “if we conclude that it is appropriate to act more aggressively by raising the fed funds rate by more than 25 basis points at a meetingor meetingswe will do that.” Furthermore, he said that “if we have to tighten beyond the common neutrality measures and adopt a more restrictive position, we will also do that”. No less than 5 members of the Fed have quoted last week, all towing the same line.According to CME tool Fedwatch, markets are currently pricing in a 70% chance of a 50 basis point hike at the May 4 meeting.and. Watch for further commentary this week to see if the inflation-fighting theme remains.
This week could reinforce some of those Fed beliefs as the US releases the Fed’s favorite inflation measure, the Core PCE, which removes volatile components from food and energy. Expectations are 5.5% YoY versus 5.2% in January. That would be the highest level in nearly 40 years. The United States will also release nonfarm payrolls this week. Expectations are for an increase of 488,000 jobs for March. Note that last week’s unemployment claims were only 187,000the lowest level since September 6and1969! The risk is that the number comes out lower than expected. Additionally, Australia will release retail sales, China will release NBS manufacturing and non-manufacturing figures, and the EU will release its first look at the March CPI. Other important economic data are as follows:
- United Kingdom: speech by BoE Governor Bailey
- United States: Dallas Fed Manufacturing Index (MAR)Tuesday
- Japan: unemployment rate (FEB)
- Japan: Summary of BoJ views
- Australia: Forward Retail Sales (FEB)
- Germany: GfK Consumer Confidence (APR)
- United Kingdom: BOE consumer credit (FEB)
- United Kingdom: mortgage approvals (FEB)
- United States: S&P/Case-Schiller Home Price (JAN)
- United States: CB Consumer Confidence (MAR)
- Japan: Retail Sales (FEB)
- New Zealand: ANZ Business Confidence (MAR)
- EU: Economic Sentiment (MAR)
- EU: Final Consumer Confidence (MAR)
- EU: Consumer Confidence Expectations (MAR)
- Germany: ICC Prel (MAR)
- United States: ADP Employment Change (MAR)
- United States: final GDP growth rate (Q4)
- Crude inventories
- OPEC+ meeting
- Japan: pre-industrial production (FEB)
- Australia: Pre-Building Permit (FEB)
- China: NBS Manufacturing PMI (MAR)
- China: NBS Non-Manufacturing PMI (MAR)
- Japan: Housing starts (FEB)
- Germany: Retail sales (FEB)
- United Kingdom: final GDP growth rate (Q4)
- Germany: Evolution of unemployment (MAR)
- EU: Unemployment rate (FEB)
- United States: Personal Expenses (FEB)
- United States: personal income (FEB)
- United States: PCE price index (FEB)
- United States: Core PCE price index (FEB)
- United States: Chicago PMI (MAR)
- World: Final Manufacturing PMIs (MAR)
- China: Caixin Manufacturing PMI (MAR)
- UK: National House Prices (MAR)
- EU: IPC Flash (MAR)
- United States: Nonfarm Payroll (MAR)
- United States: ISM Manufacturing PMI (MAR)
Chart of the week: USD/JPY weekly
Source: Tradingview, Pierre X
USD/JPY has been in freefall for the past 3 weeks, up more than 6%. The pair has been moving higher since January 2021 in an orderly channel from 102.59 to 118.66. The price started accelerating more aggressively during the week of March 7and as US interest rates continued to rise. 2 weeks ago, price broke above the upper channel trendline and horizontal resistance, reaching new 6-year highs. Additionally, last week price broke through a descending sloping channel that dates back to 2002 (green) and stopped at horizontal resistance near 122.22. Horizontal resistance lies above at 123.75 then 2015 highs at 125.68. However, note that the RSI is in the overbought territory, indicating that it may be time for USD/JPY to pull back. First support is seen at the break of the long-term trendline near 121.00, then psychological support in the round numbers at 120.00. Below, the price may drop to the breakout point of 118.66.
With a lack of focus at the start of the week, markets will be watching headlines for progress in the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations. Additionally, traders will be on the lookout for more hints from Fed members on what they will do with interest rates. However, things will pick up later in the week with the OPEC+ meeting and non-farm payrolls.
Have a good week-end.