Daily Agenda: The Week Ahead: April 4 – 9, 2016

Reserve Bank of Australia makes rate statement; CFA Institute holds seminar in Tokyo; Indian cricket hopes to recover from a sticky wicket of a scandal.



A converging end to the month and the first quarter brought no sense of finality to financial markets this past week, as thin volume and muddled sentiment offset a dovish stance by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen. With most market analysts now anticipating that the U.S. central bank is willing to accept moderate inflation to protect growth, dollar-denominated financial assets found a measure of support despite ongoing concerns over global demand. Without a major scheduled economic or political event for the week ahead likely to drive volatility, investors are left to parse the events evolving on the margin. Again.

Monday, April 4: Qingming Festival, known in English as Tomb-Sweeping Day, is a Chinese national holiday dedicated to the veneration of ancestors. In mainland China, it is tradition to eat qingtuan, dumplings made of barley grass and sticky rice. Held the 15th day after the vernal equinox — so on April 4th or 5th, depending on the year — the date holds additional significance as a date dividing different phases of green tea harvests. Tea picked during the growing season prior to the holiday earns the coveted pre-qingming label, which commands much higher prices. In Taiwan the holiday is fixed to take place on April 5 each year and commemorates the death of Chiang Kai-shek, the longtime leader of the country.

Tuesday, April 5: Despite a rally for global commodities prices, the rate statement by the Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to remain cautious over possible inflation in real estate markets. Export data, due the same day, is expected to rebound only modestly. The RBA had decidedly more dovish language in the March announcement and while no rate reductions is anticipated, RBA governor Glenn Stevens is expected to also address growing concerns that the Australian dollar is fundamentally overpriced.

Wednesday, April 6: A quarterly earnings announcement by the Apollo Education Group, the largest publicly traded for-profit college manager in the U.S., comes at a critical time for the remote-learning industry. The company, which operates the University of Phoenix, attracted a large investment by the (unrelated) Apollo Global Management earlier this year after its shares declined as the firm’s Department of Education score threatened its ability to offer federally guaranteed student loans.

Thursday, April 7: The CFA Institute has built a certification program that since its inception in the early 1960s has become a global industry standard. The CFA Institute’s 7th International Seminar, “A New Paradigm in Asset Management,” to be held in Tokyo, will provide an opportunity for chapters from throughout Asia to discuss further opportunities to promote the brand amid the emergence of increasingly complex financial markets in China and Singapore.

Friday, April 8: February production and trade data the U.K. Office for National Statistics will help lend insight into the state of the country’s economy during the run-up to its so-called Brexit referendum on whether or not to remain in the European Union. Last week the Bank of England released analysis that concluded a Brexit would increase private-sector credit spreads while driving the pound sterling lower versus other major currencies.

Saturday, April 9: The first cricket club in India was established in Calcutta in 1792. During the intervening centuries cricket has become the most popular sport on the subcontinent. The 9th India Premier League season will be one of rebuilding trust with fans after a devastating scandal in 2015. The Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants will replace the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, whose owners received two-year suspensions for fixing games. After Pepsi withdrew sponsorship in the wake of the controversy, Chinese smartphone company Vivo agreed to take the soft drink giant’s place. To date, the league has proved hugely popular in a nation where many have only limited access to cable television or Internet.