The major economic events for trading in the week of April 11th to 15th.

Earnings Season

Let’s kick off with equities and the first thing to mark in your trading calendars is the start of earnings season in the US. Analysts think corporate America has had a rough quarter, despite the S&P 500 rebounding strongly in March. FactSet reckons all ten sectors in the benchmark US index will report a drop in earnings.

Alcoa kicks things off on Monday, with the aluminium producer fresh from signing $350 million in bauxite deals.

The main sector to watch is financials, with JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citigroup all in action later in the week.

Bank of England

In forex trading, the main event is likely to be the Bank of England interest rate decision on Thursday. It’s likely to be as you were, with the Monetary Policy Committee roundly expected to hold rates at 0.5% again. While the menu won’t change, we might get a bit of extra flavour from the minutes of the meeting – will the hawkish Ian McCafferty revert to type and call for a 25-basis-point rise, or it will be 9-0 to the doves?

Of course, with Brexit risks so prominent, what the Bank does right now may be less important to trading sterling than what the opinion polls say. For the major crosses like EURGBP and GBPUSD, it’s hard to view any moves through anything but an EU Referendum lens.

 Bank of Canada

The other big central bank event comes from Canada on Wednesday. The Bank of Canada held firm on rates last month after cutting twice in 2015. And after a barnstorming quarter 1 saw the Canadian dollar climb around 10% to hit its strongest versus its US counterpart since October, the loonie has been on the back foot a little in April. For Canada’s dollar, look to oil prices and last week’s surprise drop in US stockpiles. Fresh US crude inventories data is also due out Wednesday.

US consumer data

Several big US economic data releases are due out this week, all of which will be grist for the forex trader’s mill as they will form part of the Fed’s rate hike outlook. In particular, traders are looking to see whether consumer prices have ticked up enough to warrant a slightly more hawkish stance when the Fed meets again later in the month.

On Wednesday (13:30 BST) we have a batch of retail sales and producer price inflation data, which is followed on Thursday by consumer price inflation and unemployment figures also at 13:30 BST. Friday at 15:00 BST is the University of Michigan consumer sentiment report, a closely watched gauge of optimism in the real economy.


Finally we head to China, which on Friday is due to release its GDP figures. Industrial production data for Q1 is also due out at the same time. The data, due out in the early hours during Asian trading, could set the tone for global equities at week-end.