In the week ahead, what’s most important for global share markets? The obvious geopolitical events in the Ukraine and Israel must square off with 700 earnings reports this week. With sorrow sent to those directly hit by conflict, I take the side of the broad influence of earnings reports.
With respect to indicators and not events, global markets should key in on purchasing manager indexes (PMIs). Global markets will also study Bank of England minutes out on Wednesday, carefully, and European Central Bank (ECB) lending figures out on Friday.
How will this outlook data mix with current events in the Ukraine and Israel? Bet on the PMI outlooks and earnings reports to dominate.
On Wednesday, the Bank of England (BoE) releases minutes from its last meeting. Low wage and price inflation and a strong pound are likely to be reasons for no tightening.
On Thursday, purchasing managers' surveys (PMIs) come out for Europe. They likely foreshadow weak GDP growth. Peripheral country PMI surveys could be tepid. Germany's Ifo business conditions survey should report improved conditions. Germany is always above the rank and file.
Thursday’s PMI outlooks for Asia should be looking smarter. For China, PMIs coming out should confirm the message from last month. Their state-led economy is central-planning itself out of its soft patch.
On Friday, markets get ECB lending figures. They are likely to show bank private sector lending still falling. Whether this is deemed a problem of credit availability or a lack of loan demand, either is bad for economic activity.
On Friday, U.S. durable goods orders should reverse the previous month’s fall. That would be consistent with U.S. GDP growing in a cyclical fashion.
Secondarily, U.S. inflation data hits Tuesday. Core inflation (which excludes food and energy) could point to a rise of +2.1%. This won’t worry the Fed. Their inflation target is +2%.
U.S. earnings reports likely lead global markets the most. Positive or negative, the surprises in quarterly earnings reports can wash out everything.