US in focus this week with Fed speakers and US data

This week, comments from a round of Federal Reserve officials, along with US trade data, could sway expectations for a June interest-rate increase.

MONDAY: Preliminary PMI data for France, Germany and the Eurozone will provide clues on the health of the region’s economy into the second quarter. Forecasts are for the Eurozone composite PMI to rise to 53.2, from 53.0 in April, below the first-quarter average and pointing to a modest easing of growth.

WEDNESDAY: The preliminary report on US international trade in April could reinforce the view that the economy is expanding at a better rate this spring if it shows the trade gap narrowing.

THURSDAY: Leaders from the seven leading industrialized nations will start two days of talks in Japan intended to boost anemic global growth and head off building geopolitical risks. Trade, currency tensions and calls for stronger budget stimulus will top the economic agenda. In the US the durable goods report for April will provide the latest gauge on the health of manufacturers and business investment. Consensus is for orders to be up 0.6%, slightly lower than March’s 0.8%.

FRIDAY: Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will cap a week of talks by Fed officials when she discusses her views on the economy and monetary policy in Cambridge, Mass. Investors will closely watch her comments for clues of a possible June rate increase. On Friday, a second look at US first-quarter GDP is out. Economists expect a second GDP print of 1%, up from a first reading of 0.5%.

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