After a brief pause, share market volatility is set to resume this week as central bank meetings, important economic releases and US company reporting all offer potentially game changing assessments of the global economy and the fortunes of individual companies. Counter intuitive currency moves and resurgent commodities further complicate the investor conundrum.
The US Federal Reserve in almost universally expected to make no moves at the conclusion of its monthly meeting on Wednesday night. However, The Bank of Japan is rated much more likely to act this week, possibly introducing measures other than negative interest rates to kick start the increasingly unresponsive patient that is the Japanese economy. The run of Japanese data in the lead up to the Thursday meeting includes CPI, jobless numbers, retail sales, industrial production and household spending, and could see markets jumping, particularly on stimulus inducing weak data.
More than a quarter of the US S&P 500 companies report this week, including the high growth tech companies and major banks. The surprising recent weakness of the USD has the potential to bolster bottom lines, although any strength in earnings will ironically boost the USD. Currency moves may undermine other fundamental news flows as international investors contemplate a potential inflection point. This may see selling of Australian shares if the current bullish consensus for AUD/USD turns sour on better US company results or a hawkish Federal Reserve.