Top 5 things to watch in markets in the week ahead

  • Economy News
Top 5 things to watch in markets in the week ahead -- The economic calendar is light in the coming week but rate decisions in Canada and Australia will be in the spotlight in the run-up to the Federal Reserve’s keenly anticipated announcement on June 14. Investors remain cautious despite a rally in tech stocks and market watchers will get an update on the outlook for the global economy. Here’s what you need to know to start your week.

  1. U.S. data

With the Fed entering its traditional blackout period ahead of its June 13- 14 meeting there will be no officials discussing the monetary policy outlook.

Friday’s mixed U.S. employment report showed job growth accelerating in May but also indicated that wage gains are moderating. An increase in the unemployment rate added to the view that conditions in the labor market are easing.

The jobs data underlined expectations for the Fed to pause hiking rates at its upcoming meeting. It would be the first halt since the Fed started its aggressive anti-inflation policy tightening more than a year ago.

The ISM services PMI is out on Monday and is expected to point to a still solid rate of expansion, in contrast with the manufacturing PMI which contracted for a seventh straight month in May.

Other reports include Wednesday’s trade figures and Thursday’s initial jobless claims numbers.

  1. Stock market gains

Some investors are becoming increasingly wary about how much market gains have come to be dominated by the out-performance of a small handful of megacap stocks while the rest of the market treads water.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 has gained 33% so far in 2023 and the benchmark S&P 500 has risen 11.5% year to date, currently standing at a 10-month high.

The combined weight of five stocks - Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ), Google-parent Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) and Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA ) - now accounts for 25% of the S&P 500’s market value, with the buzz around advances in artificial intelligence fuelling hopes for significant future gains.

A rally concentrated in a handful of stocks raises questions about the health of the broader market and risks igniting volatility if investors ditch those megacap holdings.

  1. Central bank decisions

Ahead of the Fed’s upcoming meeting the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Bank of Canada will both hold policy meetings this week, as officials in both countries grapple with still persistent inflation.

Tuesday’s RBA decision could go either way after April inflation data rose much more strongly than expected.

Rates are already at an 11-year peak after a surprise hike last month, with RBA governor Philip Lowe saying he wanted to send a clear message that the central bank will do whatever it takes to win the inflation fight.

Meanwhile, markets expect the BOC to deliver a hawkish hold - indicating that they could raise rates again in July unless there is evidence of cooling inflation.

  1. Eurozone

In the Eurozone, data on Monday will show how the German economy performed at the start of the second quarter, with data on trade , factory orders and industrial production due out after data last week showing that the bloc’s largest economy slid into recession in the first quarter.

The European Central Bank is to publish the results of its consumer expectation survey on Tuesday which will show whether inflation expectations are becoming more entrenched.

ECB President Christine Lagarde is to testify before the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament on Monday and her comments will be closely watched.

Other ECB officials due to make appearances before the central bank enters its quiet period on Thursday ahead of its June 15 meeting include board members Luis de Guindos and Fabio Panetta.

  1. World Bank and OECD global economic forecasts

Investors will get an update on the outlook for the global economy when the World Bank releases its latest projections for global growth on Tuesday, followed a day later by OECD with its own forecasts.

Last month the World Bank warned of a slow-growth crisis in the global economy that could persist over the coming decade amid financial sector turmoil, high inflation, the ongoing effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and three years of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, OECD raised its forecasts for global growth back in March saying it expects global growth to reach 2.6% this year and 2.9% in 2024 but warned that the outlook remains fragile, and risks remained tilted to the downside.

--Reuters contributed to this report

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