Markets will be focussing on the UK amid a slew of economic data and Britain faces fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) reckoning, with economists expecting a downturn.
The coronavirus pandemic has catapulted pharma companies into the spotlight, and with Europe’s vaccine saga still ongoing, AstraZeneca is due to unveil its full-year results.
Investors will also keep a close eye on any vaccine rollout hiccups in the US, with a COVID-19 vaccine shortage like that seen in the EU having a bigger impact on markets.
Now around 1.3 million Americans are being vaccinated daily, with more than 30 million people having had received their first dose. However, the experts are stating that there is much more demand than there is supply.
The UK is centre stage this week. On Friday a host of data, most notably Q4 GDP figures will show whether Britain’s economy will enter a double-dip recession amid more stringent coronavirus measures.
While third-quarter GDP data was better than expected with a 16% expansion, the forecast for the fourth quarter is much more troubled at just 0.9%, with the likelihood of a double-dip recession increasing following two consecutive negative contractions in the first half of 2020.
The US has a quieter week when it comes to economic releases, but most notably inflation — which rose to 0.4% in January — is out on Wednesday.
Experts think that the market’s bad reaction to jobs data released on Friday will increase expectations of aggressive fiscal stimulus by President Joe Biden. This in turn will fuel higher inflation expectations and diminish speculation about earlier-than-forecasted tapering by the Federal Reserve.
It is looking a little dim on the data side next week in Europe, with the most notable release being the new economic forecasts on Thursday.
Germany will dominate the zone’s economic calendar in the upcoming week, with industrial production on Monday, trade balance on Tuesday, and inflation on Wednesday.
The EU’s biggest economy will also feature heavily in Thursday’s EU economic forecasts.
The Chinese Yuan ended the week down by 0.58% to CNY6.4658 against the U.S Dollar.
The Japanese Yen ended the week down by 0.68% to ¥105.39 against the U.S Dollar.
For Australia, it’s a relatively quiet week. The Aussie Dollar ended the week up by 0.44% to $0.7678.
The Dollar Spot Index ended the week up by 0.51% to 91.042
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