It's going to be another slow week for U.S. economic data releases (especially Monday and Tuesday, when nothing notable is scheduled).
However, the real story right now is central banks – especially the Federal Reserve, which is far and away the biggest story in global markets right now as investors try to determine whether the Fed is trying to prime markets for tapering of its monetary stimulus programs.
Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid provides a nice overview of all of the central bank activity going on this week:
Bernanke’s congressional testimony before the Joint Economic Committee this Wednesday will be the highlight in a week where we may learn more about the Fed’s intentions with regards to potential QE tapering. Indeed, Bernanke’s speech will be made on the same day as the Fed publishes minutes from its Apr30th/May1st policy meeting which may shed some further light on the FOMC’s deliberations with respect to asset purchases. In advance of Wednesday, Chicago Fed president Evans will be speaking today, followed by the NY Fed’s Dudley and St Louis Fed’s Bullard who will speak on Tuesday - all are voting members of the FOMC this year.
Outside of the Fed, there’s also a fair bit going on at other central banks. Wednesday will see the Bank of Japan publish its latest monthly policy statement, following the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting which starts on Tuesday. The BoE will be publishing minutes from its last meeting on Wednesday. On Thursday, Draghi will be speaking at an event in the City of London on the topic of "The future of Europe in the global economy" at an event organised by the Lord Mayor. Rounding out the week ahead in policy, the European Council meets on Wednesday where tax policy and initiatives to promote growth are on the official agenda.
So, maybe not so much data to look out for until Thursday, when we get flash PMIs from China, Europe, and the U.S. – but investors will have plenty of tea leaves to read in the meantime.
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