News & Analysis

FOMC Meetings, Retail Sales, PMIs and US Stimulus Deadlock

August 17, 2020

By Deepta Bolaky

The markets were surprised by the postponement of the US-China trade deal meeting this weekend. Amid a relatively muted calendar, the focus will, therefore, turn to key economic data and the deadlock in the US over the coronavirus relief package.

United States

Investors are concerned over the standoff by US lawmakers over the stimulus package as any delay in agreeing over a plan will be at the detriment of the economic recovery. The FOMC minutes are therefore expected to provide more clues and actions to be taken if the recovery continues to slow down. Housing data, Manufacturing surveys, PMIs and Jobless Claims will also be eyed during the week. 


Similarly in Australia, aside from the PMI figures and housing data, attention will be on the RBA minutes. The New Zealand dollar emerged as the worst-performing currency last week following the RBNZ meeting. The Antipodeans will be mostly left at the broader sentiment of the markets amid a muted economic calendar. 


In the UK, Inflation and Retail Sales figures will be the highlights of the week. Over the past month, the British Pound has rallied lifted by the broad optimism in the markets, improving economic data following reopenings, and a weaker greenback. 


Similarly, Retail Sales and Inflation data will be eyed in Canada as well. The loonie has a stellar performance lately, and traders will likely monitor key data to determine the progress of the recovery. 

Equity Markets

The rally in the stock market is not surprising given the amount of stimulus injected in the economy. Investors also found support on Russian’s coronavirus vaccine last week. However, the momentum is concerning as investors fret over a potential sell-off. Further delays by Congress in striking a stimulus package could weigh on risk sentiment. 



In the pandemic-induced environment and escalating geopolitical tensions, gold rallied to new highs. However, the precious metal has its first weekly decline since June as traders booked-in profits. The positive vaccine updates and the broad optimism have sent gold tumbling on earlier this week. After a great run to the upside, some correction was inevitable. Bulls and bears are to monitor the support levels for fresh trading impetus.

Key Events Ahead


  • Gross Domestic Product and Industrial Production (Japan)
  • Eurogroup Meeting (Eurozone)


  • RBA Meeting Minutes (Australia)
  • GDT Price Index (New Zealand)
  • Building Permits and Housing Starts (US)


  • Merchandise Trade Balance Total, Imports, and Exports (Japan)
  • Westpac Leading Index and HIA New Home Sales(Australia)
  • Retail Price Index, PPI Core Output, and Consumer Price Index (UK)
  • Consumer Price Index (Eurozone)
  • BoC Consumer Price Index (Canada)
  • FOMC Minutes (US)


  • Producer Price Index and Gfk Consumer Confidence (Germany)
  • Industrial Production (Switzerland)
  • CBI Industrial Production Survey (UK)
  • ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts (Eurozone)
  • Jobless Claims, and Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey (US)


  • Gfk Consumer Confidence, and Retail Sales (UK)
  • National CPI (Japan)
  • Markit Manufacturing, Services and Composite PMI(Germany)
  • Markit Manufacturing, Services and Composite PMI(Eurozone)
  • Markit Manufacturing, and Services PMI (UK)
  • Retail Sales (Canada)
  • Markit Manufacturing, Services and Composite PMI, and Existing Home Sales (US)

By Deepta Bolaky

Tuesday, 18 August 2020 
Indicative Index Dividends
Dividends are in Points
ASX200 WS30 US500 US2000 NDX100 CAC40 STOXX50
0.416 12.052 0.538 0.052 0.405 0 0
ESP35 ITA40 FTSE100 DAX30 HK50 JP225 INDIA50
0 0 0 0 0 0 0

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