Monday, August 15: Japan’s Cabinet Office releases preliminary second-quarter GDP data. In the wake of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s victory in Japan’s national elections last month, discussions of a fresh round of stimulus help lift the spirits of Japanese investors battered by a currency market that supported the yen despite the Bank of Japan’s massive quantitative easing efforts. With Japan staring down a rapidly aging population and declining productivity, any signal that growth continues to stall may drive political calls for even more serious policy measures.
Tuesday, August 16: Market watchers will likely be keeping a close eye on the U.K. inflation data release from the Office for National Statistics for any signs that trepidation over Brexit have dented demand. Economists’ consensus forecasts call for prices to remain firm at the factory gate, while pulling back at the cash register. After signals that demand in real estate markets has plunged in recent months, some bank analysts have concluded that the U.K.’s economy is on the brink of recession.
Wednesday, August 17: After mixed results from other major European banks equity investors will look to second quarter financial data from ABN AMRO Group for more insight into the impact of ultra-low policy rates on lenders. The Dutch financial giant recently announced that it will reserve the right to charge deposit holders starting in October if forced to do on the back of ECB-imposed negative policy rates.
Thursday, August 18: China’s National Bureau of Statistics releases housing price index data for July. The announcement comes on the back of nine months of consecutive annualized expansion. NBS head Sheng Laiyun recently publicly predicted that the pace of housing price growth would slow in coming quarters, as the market finds equilibrium after a recovery fueled by policy actions. For investors the topic is critical given that the construction sector contributed more than 15 percent of first-quarter GDP when including ancillary industries.
Friday, August 19: The weekly Baker Hughes Rig Count will be a focus for oil traders after front-month West Texas Crude oil future rose last week despite signals that Saudi production hit an all-time high last month. According to last week’s data, U.S. oil producers increased the number of active drilling sites for the seventh consecutive week, although the total in production remained at just 396 versus 672 during the same month last year.