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Economic Calendar – Top 5 Things To Watch This Week

Economic Calendar – Top 5 Things To Watch This Week – With a lack of major economic reports and earnings news in the coming week, markets could focus more heavily on trade-related headlines as President Donald Trump prepares to meet world leaders at the G7 summit in Canada.

There could be major developments on the trade front with China during the coming week, as well, and more clarity on whether revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement can be concluded before a looming deadline.

Staying on the subject, market participants will focus on monthly trade figures out of the United States and China, as they seek to gauge if there has been any impact on trade activity from the recent trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

In the UK, investors will focus on a report on activity in the dominant services sector for further indications on the health of the economy and the likelihood of the Bank of England raising interest rates this year.

On the central bank front, a monetary policy announcement from the Reserve Bank of Australia will be in the agenda, though no change is expected.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of the five biggest events on the economic calendar that are most likely to affect the markets.

1. G7 Summit

The heads of G7 nations travel to Quebec at the end of the week for a meeting hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

President Trump is expected to arrive on Friday, where he will meet the leaders of Germany, Italy, France, UK, and Japan, all countries subject to U.S. tariffs.

Finance leaders of the closest U.S. allies vented anger over the Trump administration’s metal import tariffs on Saturday, ending a three-day meeting with a stern rebuke of Washington.

In a rare show of division, the six other G7 member countries issued a statement asking U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to convey their “unanimous concern and disappointment” about the tariffs to the president.

Speaking separately after the meeting, Mnuchin told reporters that he was not part of the six-country consensus on trade and said Trump was focused on “rebalancing our trade relationships.”

Just before the G7’s meeting of finance ministers ended, Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday that “the United States must, at long last, be treated fairly on Trade.”

The U.S. last week imposed new 25% tariffs on steel and 10% tariffs on aluminum imported from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, after temporary exemptions expired.

The tariffs prompted swift retaliation and raised doubts about whether the administration will be able to reach a near-term agreement with Canada and Mexico on a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement.

However, the bigger question is whether the U.S. can resolve trade disputes with China.

2. U.S. Trade Data

The U.S. Commerce Department will release international trade data for April at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT) on Wednesday, and it will be watched closely amid the threat of a global trade war.

The deficit is forecast to widen to $50.0 billion, from $49.0 billion in March.

There is also productivity and costs data, due on Wednesday, which includes a look at inflation. The PCE data is the preferred inflation measure watched by the Federal Reserve.

There are no Fed speakers in the coming week since it is the quiet period ahead of the June 12 and 13 Federal Open Market Committee meeting, when the Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates.

The U.S. central bank is increasingly likely to raise rates a fourth time this year after last week’s employment report showed U.S. job growth accelerated in May and the unemployment rate dropped to an 18-year low of 3.8%.

The U.S. Labor Department’s report also showed solid wage gains, pointing to rapidly tightening labor market conditions, which could stir concerns about inflation.

3. China Trade Figures

China is to release May trade figures on Friday morning.

The report is expected to show that the country’s trade surplus rose to $32.5 billionlast month from $28.8 billion.

Exports are forecast to have climbed 6.3% from a year earlier, while imports are expected to rise 16.0%.

Trade figures released last month showed that China’s exports rose sharply despite the heated trade dispute with the United States.

Ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China will also keep investors on their toes this week.

China warned the United States on Sunday that any agreements reached on trade and business between the two countries will be void if Washington implements tariffs and other trade measures, as the two ended their latest round of talks in Beijing.

That came after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met in Beijing over the weekend.

The world’s two largest economies have threatened each other with tens of billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs in recent months, leading to worries that Washington and Beijing may engage in a full-scale trade war that could damage global growth and roil markets.

4. UK Services PMI

A survey on Britain’s giant services sector due at 0830GMT (4:30AM ET) on Tuesday is forecast to inch up to 52.9 from the previous month’s reading of 52.8.

A separate PMI for the construction industry is due on Monday.

Growth among British manufacturers picked up speed in May for the first time in six months, but the improvement masked underlying weakness among the country’s factories, a survey showed on Friday.

Britain’s economy grew more slowly than most of its peers in the first quarter of 2018 due to a mix of unusually snowy weather and headwinds from Britain’s impending exit from the European Union.

The Bank of England is watching for signs that weak growth at the start of the year was temporary and caused by unusually cold weather – rather than the approach of Brexit next year – before it raises interest rates for only the second time in over a decade.

5. Reserve Bank of Australia Policy Meeting

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) latest interest rate decision is due on Tuesday at 0430GMT.

Most economists expect the central bank to keep rates unchanged at the current record-low of 1.5% for the 21th straight meeting, which would be the longest spell of inactivity since 1990.

Policymakers are also expected to sound cautious on inflation, in a clear sign a hike was still a distant prospect.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe has long cautioned that the next move in rates is more likely to be up than down, but so far has emphasized that the central bank’s board saw no strong case for a hike anytime soon.

Investors expect policy will stay on hold for a long time to come, with interbank futures not fully pricing for a 25-basis point rise until July 2019.

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