As markets decided whether the Trump trade is really dying or not, it’s full steam ahead on HMS Brexit as the British government plans to trigger Article 50 on Wednesday.

Although the date is known the outcome of this era-defining decision is far from understood. Two years of painful negotiations will markets guessing.

On the data front the week is back-loaded with a slew of PMI, inflation, retail sales and GDP releases on Thursday and Friday. Corporate earnings are slow but there are a number of FTSE stocks reporting.

Article 50

 

March 29th has been set as the date the UK will officially trigger Article 50 and the Brexit process begins formally. For sterling – and by extension the FTSE 100 because of its correlation with the pound – this could mean a rocky patch.

Last week the pound dropped sharply when the government announced the date – a signal perhaps that the reality of exiting the EU remains potential source of volatility and nervousness for traders.

GBPUSD_200317_article50_announcement

If the pound can drop on such innocuous news we could be in for a rough two years as the negotiations on the terms of exit proceed. Bears and bulls are split over whether the full extent of Brexit is priced in already, or if there is yet more downside risk. Read more about how sterling appears on a knife-edge.

 

Inflation

 

The global reflationary trend is the source of much support for equity markets and stock market traders are watching inflation data as much as forex traders these days. A batch of Eurozone preliminary data from France (Tuesday), Germany, Spain and Italy (Wednesday) will be followed closely for clues about where bond markets and the European Central Bank are headed. 

Inflation figures for Japan will also be monitored as the country continues its slow climb out of a 20-year deflationary cycle. Core inflation returned to Japan in January, the first time consumer prices excluding fresh food rose year-over-year since 2015.

GDP

 

Janet Yellen complains that GDP data is ‘noisy’. As well she might when estimates of growth can vary so much. The Atlanta Fed has downgraded its Q1 forecast to a meagre 0.9%, while the New York Fed has it at a far healthier 2.8%.

Thankfully the final Q4 GDP readings from the UK and the US should be fairly quiet and unlikely to show much change. Of course that means any revisions could shift market sentiment.

 

PMIs

 

Leading indicators for growth don’t come much more closely watched than PMIs – the monthly purchasing managers indices covering the key sectors of national economies. April’s round of data kicks off on Saturday with manufacturing and non-manufacturing figures from China.

 

Economic Calendar

(All times BST)

Sunday, 26 March

UK and most European countries enter daylight savings time (DST) and clocks go forward by one hour.

Monday, 27 March

09:00 – German Ifo Business Climate

Tuesday, 28 March

07:45 – French preliminary CPI inflation

15:00 – US CB Consumer Confidence

Wednesday, 29 March

Tentative – UK to trigger Article 50 to leave EU

00:50 – Japan retail sales

09:30 – UK net lending to individuals, mortgage approvals

15:00 – US pending home sales

15:30 – US crude oil inventories

Thursday, 30 March

08:00 – KOF economic barometer

08:00 – Spanish flash CPI inflation

10: 00 – Italian preliminary CPI inflation

13:00 – German preliminary CPI inflation

13:30 – US final Q4 2016 GDP reading, weekly unemployment claims

Friday, 31 March

00:01 – UK GfK consumer confidence

00:30 – Japan household spending, national core CPI, Tokyo core CPI, unemployment rate

00:50 – Japan preliminary industrial orders

01:00 – New Zealand ANZ business confidence survey

06:00 – Bank of Japan core CPI

07:00 – German retail sales

07:00 – UK Nationwide house price index

08:55 – German unemployment change

09:30 – UK current account, final Q4 2016 GDP reading

10:00 – Eurozone flash CPI estimates

13:30 – Canada GDP

13:30 – US core PCE price index, personal spending

14:45 – US Chicago PMI

15:00 – US revised University of Michigan consumer sentiment

Saturday, 1 April

02:00 – China manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMIs

 

Corporate Calendar

 

Tuesday, 28 March

A.G. Barr (BAG) – Y/2017, EPS estimate 0.290

AA (AA) – Y/2017, EPS estimate 0.234

Ladbrokes Coral Group (LCL) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 0.079

Wednesday, 29 March

Johnston Press (JPR) – Y/2017, EPS estimate 0.148

Saga (SAGA) – Y/2017, EPS estimate 0.137

Thursday, 30 March

DFS Furniture (DFS) – S1/2017, EPS estimate 0.062

Nomad Foods (NOMD) – Y/2016, EPS estimate 0.884

Source: Bloomberg

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