Week Ahead – RBA minutes, RBNZ policy decision, China PMI in focus

Next week looks set to be a quieter one, compared to the past week which had a busy economic calendar and continuous headline news regarding the Greek debt crisis.

Monday is a bank holiday for Japan so the currency markets during the Asian session will likely be calm. In the European session there German Bundesbank monthly report might be worth looking at but is not expected to have much impact on the markets. The Eurozone current account balance will also be published. In the North American only Canadian wholesale sales will be out.

On Tuesday the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy meeting minutes will be published. This could affect the Australian dollar if there is mention about its exchange rate being too high still or any other mention on interest rates.

Attention will be on Australia again on Wednesday when the nation’s CPI rate will be released. More importantly, RBA Governor Stevens will be giving a speech in Sydney.

All eyes will then turn to the UK as the European session comes around on Wednesday. The Bank of England minutes of the latest policy meeting will be released. We will be able to see the voting pattern of the members of the Monetary Policy Committee, and this will give some insight into how many policy makers are in favour of a rate hike. This week BoE Governor Mark Carney lifted the pound after he mentioned that he thinks the time for a rate hike is moving closer.

On Thursday New Zealand’s central bank (RBNZ) will announce its interest rate decision. The official cash rate is expected to remain unchanged at 3.25%. But the RBNZ statement that would follow will be more important for any hints about a future rate cut. The New Zealand dollar has been underperforming recently and has reached fresh six-year lows against the US dollar this week.

In the European session on Thursday, focus will be on UK retail sales and the US jobless claims in the US session.

On Friday Chinese flash manufacturing PMI will be important to watch. The Eurozone will also publish manufacturing PMI but also services PMI. The US will also publish a PMI survey for the manufacturing sector and new home sales.

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