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An Unpredictable Scattershot of Policies: Global Week Ahead

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I open this Global Week Ahead with a quote from the Washington D.C.-based FP Group (FP is short for Foreign Policy). They count 1.2 million daily newsletter deliveries.  

It is a very respected establishment tied to the more than 40-year-old Foreign Policy magazine, founded by Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington.

The purpose and mission: to question commonplace views and groupthink and to give a voice to alternative views about American foreign policy.

Here it is--

“This is our reality now: an unpredictable scattershot set of policies that prevent allies from reinforcing U.S. efforts, require constant remediation by Cabinet members of uproars caused by the president’s erratic behavior, and a very high transaction cost for everything the United States wants to do in the world.”

In light of that scintillating U.S. foreign policy backdrop, on Sunday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Hanover, Germany. He is at the start of a four-day trip to Europe. Abe’s trip takes him to Germany, France, Belgium (where the EU is based) and Italy.

Abe hopes to discuss security issues -- related to a bellicose North Korea shooting missiles at Japan -- and make progress on a Japan-EU free trade deal.

In Japan Today, Abe said that Japan “wants to be the champion upholding open systems alongside Germany.”  He further said to the publication that it was through connectedness that economies would grow.

He then publicly called for a swift conclusion to the EU-Japan trade deal.

On Monday, the Global Week Ahead started off with a new five-week low in the U.S. dollar.  

In 2017, U.S. dollar strength is all about the rising rates in the USA and the fact that NO OTHER major central bank is moving rates up outside the USA. The stronger dollar is a feature of both central bank action and non-action, in other words.

A wider gap between relative rates is sure to play out in a still-stronger U.S. dollar.

Consensus is more concerned about the effects on the riskier and more volatile emerging market currents, than it is on advanced country currency pairs like the Euro and U.K. pound.

All week, there are a number of Fed speeches. These will provide us color on the U.S. dollar and the outlook for U.S. rates. Some are being given outside the country, in London and in Asia.

Also on Monday, Hong Kong’s benchmark large cap share index rose to its highest intraday level in more than a year and a half.

Keep your eyes on an emerging bull market across Asia!

Top Zacks #1 Rank (STRONG BUY) Large Cap Stocks—

Renault SA (RNLSY - Free Report) : This is the large French-based automaker. The stock is also has a long-term Zacks VGM score of A, based on a Zacks Value score of A.  

French stocks have been beaten up for a long time now.

TDK Corp. (TTDKY - Free Report) : This is a large Japan-based maker of electronics components. The stock holds a Zacks VGM score of B too, based on a Zacks Value score of A.  

You have to love value stocks outside the USA, given the S&P 500 trades at over 18 times forward earnings now.

Check Point Software (CHKP - Free Report) : This is an Israeli company. It is the largest capitalization info tech stock ($17.8 billion) hailing from that country.

Given Intel’s recent purchase of Israel’s beloved autonomous vehicle facilitator Mobileye, you need to be aware of this better-known stock and this company. However, the Zacks VGM score is F. In other words, this share story has been bought long, long ago.

Key Global Macro Data & Events—

Fast-moving global FX and share markets may be the most important this week.

Look for clarification on the addition of ‘symmetric’ in the latest FOMC press statement. Chair Yellen speaks on Thursday in Washington DC.

David Cameron’s speech on the EU on Monday looks interesting.

PMIs for the Eurozone are out late in the week, on Friday.

On Monday, EU finance ministers start a 2-day meeting in Brussels.

Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Abe hold talks on trade.

The unemployment rate in Russia is 5.6%, real wages are growing +3.3% y/y, and retail sales are down -2.3% y/y.  That’s a mixed picture, with worrisome consumer attitudes.

David Cameron gives a speech on the EU.

The Fed’s Evans speaks in NYC.

On Tuesday, the EU’s Juncker and Tusk meet Abe in Brussels.

The unemployment rate in Finland is 9.2%, much higher than in Russia.

The Fed’s Rosengren speaks at the Asia-Pacific meeting, and the Fed’s Dudley speaks in London. The Fed’s Hunter and George speak in Washington. The Fed’s Mester speaks in Richmond.

The BoJ releases its latest minutes.

On Wednesday, the unemployment rate in Taiwan is 3.84%.

The inflation rate in South Africa should go to 6.3% from 6.6%. y/y. It’s still too high.

U.S. existing homes sales data comes out. Look for a 5.59 million-unit number, after 5.69 million in a prior print.

On Thursday, the unemployment rate in Poland is 8.6%. That’s high. It’s a reason so many Polish people have moved to the U.K.: work.

U.K. retail sales (ex-auto and fuel) should be up +3.5% y/y from +2.6% y/y.

U.S. initial claims were 241K, and we will get new data on this day. That’s super-low.

U.S. new home sales should get to 600K from 555K in an earlier print. It has been a mild winter, and stocks are up. Mortgage rates are going up too, so buyers are starting to move.

Mexico’s bi-weekly CPI looks to get to +5.2% y/y from %5.0%.

The Fed’s Yellen and Kashkari speak in Washington.

On Friday, the French manufacturing PMI should be around the prior 52.2. The German manufacturing PMI should be around 56.8. The Eurozone manufacturing PMI should be 55.5.  

The composite Eurozone manufacturing and services PMI should be 56.2, better than the prior 56.0.

U.S. durable goods orders come out.  Ex-transport, the print looks for +1.0% y/y.

Mexico’s retail sales should go to +4.8% y/y from +9.0% y/y. That is not good.

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