News & Analysis

Week Ahead: Jackson Hole Symposium

August 26, 2020

By Deepta Bolaky

In a pandemic-induced environment supported by ongoing fiscal and monetary policies, all eyes will be on the exclusive central bank conference which fosters open discussions about global policy matters. The 2020 Economic Policy Symposium will be conducted online from August 27th to August 28th and will focus on:

 “Navigating the Decade Ahead: Implications for Monetary Policy”. 

Investors will eagerly await for the updates from central bankers, policymakers and economists around the world at the Economic Symposium while monitoring a packed economic calendar for clearer signals on the recovery path.

United States

Investors remained 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. Housing Permits and Starts came above expectations last week and we expect more housing data this week to shed light on the housing market. We will see more surveys to gauge the overall economic activity, consumer behaviour and the US employment situation. 

The preliminary figures of the US Q2 GDP will stand out this week. The latest GDP figures show that the economy is poised to shrink by 32.9% – the deepest decline in decades. Markets are expecting some upward revision given the rebound in May and June.

New Zealand & Australia 

The Antipodeans have been on a rally following March lows. The New Zealand dollar eased from this year’s highs after the RBNZ expanded the asset purchasing programme and opened doors for negative rates. On the economic front, traders will likely monitor Retail Sales figures, Trae Balance, Import and Exports for fresh trading impetus. On the other side, amid a lack of key events for Australia, its local currency will be mostly left at the broader sentiment of the markets.

UK & Eurozone

Last week, we saw a key distinction between the UK and the Eurozone economic activity. The Eurozone economy loses momentum while UK business accelerates in August after renewed travel restrictions.

Eurozone flash PMI numbers:
  • PMI Composite Output Index at 51.6(54.9inJuly) -2-month low.
  • Services PMI Activity Index(2)at 50.1(54.7in July) -2-month low.
  • Manufacturing PMI(3)at 51.7(51.8in July)- 2-month low.
UK flash PMI numbers:
  • Composite Output Index Aug: 60.3, an 82-month high
  • Services Business Activity Index Aug: 60.1, a 72-month high
  • Manufacturing PMI Aug: 55.3, a 30-month high

This week, German IFO surveys and GDP figures together with EZ consumer confidence and business climate surveys will help to provide more insights on the European economies.

Equity Markets

Despite the uncertainty on the economic outlook and the geopolitical tensions, the momentum in the stock market continues to advance higher and we are seeing new highs. The amount of stimulus injected in the economy is driving the stock market. Investors will, therefore, eye the Jackson Hole Symposium as the updates from policy markets, central bankers and economists will be key in determining whether the interest rates cutting cycle will be for a longer-term. 

In Australia, after the busiest week of the earnings season, we will see more companies releasing their corporate results this week. Key companies set to report during the week includes:

Fortescue Metals Group, NIB, St Barbara, Super Retail Group, Scentre Holdings, Ansell, and Stockland, Flight Centre, Afterpay, Woolworths, Ramsay Health Care, and Boral



Last week was another volatile week for Gold. After reaching fresh record highs, the precious metal plunged and slipped the most in seven years last week. Gold reclaimed the $2,000 level as risk sentiment faltered on Tuesday earlier this week but failed to hold on to gains. As of writing, the XAUUSD pair is trading around the $1,933 level.

Virus woes, US stimulus package, and geopolitical tensions are the current factors that could provide support to the haven asset.

Key Events Ahead


  • Retail Sales (New Zealand)
  • ZEW – Survey Expectations (Switzerland)
  • Chicago Fed National Activity Index (US)


  • Gross Domestic Product, IFO – Business Climate, Current Assessment and Expectations (Germany)
  • Housing Price Index, S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, New Home Sales and Consumer Confidence (US)


  • Trade Balance, Exports, and Imports (New Zealand)
  • Leading Economic Index, Durable Goods, and Nondefense Capital Goods Orders (US)


  • All Industry Activity (Japan)
  • Gross Domestic Product (Switzerland)
  • Core Personal Consumption Expenditures, Jobless Claims, Gross Domestic Product, Fed’s Chair Powell speech, and Pending Home Sales (US)
  • Current Account (US)


  • ANZ – Roy Morgan and Total Filled Jobs (New Zealand)
  • Tokyo Consumer Price Index (Japan)
  • Gfk Consumer Confidence Survey and Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (Germany)
  • KOF Leading Indicator (Switzerland)
  • Consumer Confidence and Business Climate (Eurozone)
  • Core Personal Consumption Expenditure, Personal Income and Spending (US)
  • Gross Domestic Product (Canada)
  • Chicago Purchasing Managers’ Index and Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (US)

By Deepta Bolaky

Tuesday, 25 August 2020 
Indicative Index Dividends
Dividends are in Points
ASX200 WS30 US500 US2000 NDX100 CAC40 STOXX50
4.269 0 0.037 0.058 0 0 0
ESP35 ITA40 FTSE100 DAX30 HK50 JP225 INDIA50
0 0 0 0 0 0 0

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