“Bulls make money, bears make money, but pigs get slaughtered” goes the old trading adage. However, Wall Street and longer dated Treasuries are mostly net higher on the quarter, having weathered the Fed rate hike and some uncertainties over the Trump agenda after the ACA failure. Confidence remains high heading into April, as reflected recent sentiment surveys, the labor market continues to strengthen, and manufacturing is improving further. Data will be in full swing this week and will help formulate outlooks for Q2. In Europe, intrigue will continue swirl around the ECB’s exit strategy. The opening stance on Brexit between the UK and EU predictably focused on a “Hard Brexit” by the latter, though negotiations won’t be start in earnest until after German elections in September.

United States: The U.S. economic calendar features the March jobs report Friday, which has suddenly come upon us again after sealing the deal on the March FOMC hike last month. March nonfarm payrolls are expected to increase by 200k vs 235k in February, with a 225k private payroll gain. Looking at the rest of the week, Markit PMI for manufacturing in March is due (Monday), along with March ISM manufacturing seen slipping to 57.0 from 57.7 and February construction spending expected to rise 0.8% vs -1.0%. The February trade deficit (Tuesday) is forecast to narrow to -$46.7 bln from -$48.5 bln, while MBA mortgage market report is due (Wednesday), accompanied by the March ADP employment report, which should post a 238k gain for the month, below the February figure of 298k. EIA energy inventories are also on tap. Initial jobless claims may retreat 14k to 244k (Thursday) for the April 1 week. In addition to the jobs report (Friday) will be the wholesale trade report and February consumer credit, expected to rebound to $18 bln vs $8.8 bln. FOMC minutes are due Wednesday from the FOMC’s March 14, 15 meeting that included the first rate hike of 2017. But the Fed also surprised with a less hawkish stance than was feared by the markets, especially with respect to the dot plot where the median estimate called for only two more tightenings in 2017, for a total of three.

Canada: A busy week begins with the BoC’s Outlook Survey (Monday), which expected to show increased optimism as the recovery maintains momentum. However, indicators of capacity should remain consistent with still ample spare capacity, while employment measures reflect ongoing slack in the labor market. The trade surplus (Tuesday) is projected to narrow to C$0.7 bln in February from C$0.8 bln in January. Building permit values (Thursday) are anticipated to grow 2.0% in February after the 5.4% gain in January. Employment (Friday) is seen rising 20.0k in March after the 15.3k gain in February. The unemployment rate is seen steady at 6.6%. Governor Poloz offered a cautious view of Canada’s economy, saying in effect that the recent few odd firm data point should not make us forget about the numerous downside risk surrounding the outlook for Canada’s economy. Hence, another run of firm data will not change our view that the Bank will hold policy steady at next week’s announcement (April 12) and though the first half of 2018. The Ivey PMI (Friday) is projected to improve to 57.0 in March from 55.0 in February.

Europe: The Brexit process has officially begun, but both sides have merely set down pretty much as-expected positions. For Eurozone markets, at least, the Brexit issue has been overshadowed by the conflicting voices coming out of the ECB council ahead of the April meeting. Draghi did leave the easing bias in place in March, but pressure to drop return to a more neutral stance is mounting as data suggests upside risks to Q1 GDP numbers. Draghi is still insisting that rates can go down further, national central bank heads continue to talk about tapering and the sequencing of exit steps. Draghi will have a chance to clarify the central bank’s stance when he speaks in Frankfurt on Tuesday and Thursday and the minutes of the March meeting (Thursday), should give some indication of the extent on the discussion on the forward guidance at the last meeting.Data releases this week include the final readings of March PMI surveys, with the manufacturing PMI (Monday) expected to be confirmed at 56.6 and the services PMI (Wednesday) at 56.6 Initial readings were better than anticipated and already pointed to an upside risk to Q1 GDP projections and German manufacturing orders (Thursday) and industrial production (Friday) for February will be watched carefully in that respect. The data calendar also has retail sales, German trade data and French production numbers.

UK: The focus will remain on the early stages of the Brexit process, though hard negotiations between the UK and the EU are not likely to start until after German elections in September. The data calendar this week is highlighted by the March PMI surveys. The manufacturing PMI (Monday) expected to come in with a headline reading of 54.9, up from 54.6. Improving global demand coupled with the benefits of post-Brexit vote sterling weakness is underpinning the sector. The services PMI (Wednesday) has us anticipating a near unchanged reading of 53.3 after 53.3 in the month prior. Industrial production for February is also due (Friday), which is expected to rise 0.2% m/m after the 0.4% m/m contraction in the previous month.

Japan: In Japan, the March Tankan report (Monday) is seen rising to 12 from 10 for large manufacturers, and to 20 from 18 for large non-manufacturers. March auto sales are also due Monday. March consumer confidence (Thursday) is forecast to improve to 43.5 from 43.1.

Australia: Australia’s calendar is busy this week, highlighted by the Reserve Bank of Australia’s meeting (Tuesday). RBA expected to hold rates steady at the accommodative 1.50% setting. Governor Lowe provides remarks at the Reserve Bank Board Dinner (Tuesday). Alex Heath, the Bank’s Head of Economic Analysis Department participates in a panel (Wednesday). Deputy Governor Debelle speaks on Recent Trends in Australian Capital Flow (Thursday). The slate of economic data is relatively busy this week. Retail sales (Monday) are expected to grow 0.4% m/m in February after an identical 0.4% rise in January. Building permits (Monday) are seen falling 2.0% in February after the 1.8% rise in January. ANZ job ads for March and the Melbourne Institute inflation index for March are also due on Monday. The February trade surplus (Tuesday) is projected to expand to A$2.5 bln from A$1.3 bln in January.

New Zealand: March QV house prices due Wednesday.

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Andria Pichidi

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