The Week Ahead: 18th – 21st May 2021

Overview for the Week Ahead

There’s a lot of excitement about the economy as the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and loosening of restrictions across the globe allows more and more people to go about their lives like they did before the pandemic. 

We’ve quickly gone from an economy on an unprecedented lockdown triggered by a pandemic to one that’s rapidly reopening with the ongoing distribution of vaccines. And that rush of demand for goods and services has also been met with supply chain bottlenecks as it takes time to get suppliers back online.  

It is a big week in Great Britain with plenty on the schedule in terms of data.  

First up, most businesses reopened on Monday in England, except for those in high-risk industries, such as nightclubs. International travel will resume under a traffic light system, travellers coming back from “green list of countries,” don’t have to quarantine upon return. 

Unemployment claims and ILO unemployment figures are released on Tuesday. Optimism has been growing in recent weeks as the UK economy reopens, with the expectation that millions will start to return to the nation’s workforce as the furlough scheme ends later this year.  

On Wednesday, a hot inflation report for April is in the spotlight as concerns over higher prices rise.  

Retail sales data for April is on the agenda for Friday as well as May’s flash PMI readings. Monthly retail sales are expected to soften, while the flash PMI estimates should remain robust.  

April’s PMI data was in the positive, boosted by Britain’s road to normality, against a backdrop of companies reporting higher demand for both goods and services. Services activity hit a six and a half year high at 61, while manufacturing rose to 60.9 — an eight-month high. 

Meanwhile, retail sales have been in a positive direction since January’s huge 8.2% decline, as the third lockdown shuttered shops once again. They slightly rebounded in February, with a 2.1% rise and again rising 5.4% in March, boosted by garden and DIY centres, with a 16% rise in household goods. 

There are a few economic releases and speeches from EU finance ministers and ECB’s Lagarde on the slate to keep investors busy this week.   The region’s final consumer price index (CPI) for April is due on Wednesday. 

In other news, falling Tesla stocks knocked Elon Musk out of the position of the world’s second-richest person on Monday. With the electric vehicle-maker’s shares falling 2.2% on May 17, Tesla Inc.’s chief executive officer lost his spot to Louis Vuitton chairman Bernard Arnault. 

Musk, who held the top spot in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index till March, now has a fortune of $160.6 billion. His net worth was down 24% from its January high.   

Bitcoin fell to a three-month low on Monday on the account of investors selling and buying the digital currency after Elon Musk tweeted about the carmaker’s bitcoin holdings. Bitcoin fell to as low as $42,185, its lowest since Feb. 8, and was last down 6.2% at $43,564.  The price of Bitcoin has risen and is now at $45,204 at 10.35 GMT+3. 

This Week’s High Impact Events 

The times below are GMT+3.

Tuesday 18th May 

  • 17.00 – UK – BoE Gov. Bailey Speaks 

Potential instruments to Trade: GBP Crosses. 

Wednesday 19th May 

  • 09.00 – UK  CPI y/y 

Potential instruments to Trade: GBP Crosses. 

  • Tentative  Europe – ECB Financial Stability Review 

Potential instruments to Trade: EUR Crosses. 

  • 12.00 – GBP – BoE Gov Bailey Speaks 

Potential instruments to Trade: GBP Crosses. 

  • 17.30 – US – Crude Oil Inventories 

Potential instruments to Trade: USD & CAD Crosses.  

  • 21.00 – US – FOMC Meeting Minutes 

Potential instruments to Trade: USD Crosses & Gold.  

Thursday 20th May 

  • 04.30 – Australia – Employment Change & Unemployment Rate 

Potential instruments to Trade: AUD Crosses.  

  • 05.00– New Zealand – Annual Budget Release 

Potential instruments to Trade: NZD Crosses.  

  • 15.00– Europe – ECB President Lagarde Speaks 

Potential instruments to Trade: EUR Crosses.  

  • 15.30 – US – Philly Fed Manufacturing Index & Unemployment Claims 

Potential instruments to Trade: USD Crosses.  

  • 18.00 – Canada – BoC Gov. Macklem Speaks 

Potential instruments to Trade: CAD Crosses.  

Friday 21st May 

  • 04.30 – Australia Retail Sales m/m 

Potential instruments to Trade: AUD Crosses. 

  • 09.00 – GBP – Retail Sales m/m 

Potential instruments to Trade: GBP Crosses. 

  • 10.15 – 11.30 – Europe – Flash Manufacturing & Flash Services PMI for France, Germany, Europe & UK 

Potential instruments to Trade: EUR & GBP Crosses. 

  • All-Day – Eurogroup Meetings 

Potential instruments to Trade: EUR Crosses. 

  • 14.00 – Europe – ECB President Lagarde Speaks 

Potential instruments to Trade: EUR Crosses. 

  • 15.30  Canada  Core Retail Sales & Retails Sales m/m 

Potential instruments to Trade: CAD Crosses. 

  • 16.45 – Switzerland – Gov. Board Member Maechler Speaks 

Potential instruments to Trade: CHF Crosses. 

  • 16.45 – US – Flash Manufacturing PMI 

Potential instruments to Trade: USD Crosses. 

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