THE WEEK AHEAD: WEEK COMMENCING 29 JANUARY 2024 – IC Markets


It looks like another lively week ahead for investors and traders alike as markets are hit with a plethora of key tier 1 economic data releases and two major central bank rate announcements. The world’s biggest economy will dominate many of the headlines as usual when the much anticipated first Federal Reserve meeting of the year concludes mid-way through the week. There is also a heavy employment data focus for the US with at least four separate jobs data updates due out, culminating with the blue riband non-farms data on Friday. Throw in some other key data releases from other major economies and the Bank of England’s latest rate call and you have the recipe for some big moves in markets in the days ahead.

Here is our usual day-by-day breakdown of the major risk events this week:

It is very much the calm before the storm on Monday with literally nothing of note on the scheduled calendar. However, traders will as usual be keeping a wary eye on the newswires for anything to hit the markets.

The event calendar kicks off today, the initial focus in the Asian session will be on Australia with the latest Retail Sales numbers due out. The European session sees quarterly GDP data from Spain, Germany, and France. But traders are expecting more volatility when New York opens, and we have US Consumer Confidence data in addition to the first Jobs numbers of the week in the form of the JOLTS Job Openings release.

It’s Fed Day, but we have nearly three full sessions before we hear from Jerome Powell et al. There is key inflation data out early in the day in Australia with the CPI data being released. This is followed an hour later by Chinese PMI numbers hitting the street. On the London open, the investor focus will move to Germany for the crucial CPI data release before the New York day begins and we are hit by multiple updates. There are two separate US jobs numbers out, the ADP non-Farms and the Employment Cost index as well as Canadian GDP data, and then later in the day, the big event as we hear the rate update from the FOMC as well as the statement and press conference.

Expect the Fed volatility to extend well into the APAC session before attention moves to China and the latest Caixin Manufacturing PMI data release. On the London session open, all eyes will be firmly on the UK and the MPC’s decision on the Official Cash Rate, which they are widely expected to keep at 5.25%. The US Day once again has another job update, the weekly unemployment claims data plus the ISM Manufacturing PMI numbers later in the session.

It’s the first Friday of the month, so it must be Non-Farms Day in the US. Still considered by many traders to be the most impactful data release on the calendar. There is little out in the first couple of sessions in the day and therefore investors are expecting rangebound conditions before we hit the New York open and the employment numbers. Expectations are for an increase of 177K in the non-farms and for the unemployment rate to move up to 3.8%. But many will be looking more closely at the Average Hourly data released at the same time for a more in-depth reflection on the health of the market.



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