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Diary: Syria Fallout, China GDP, US Earnings, Oz Jobs

The escalation of Western military involvement in Syria will dominate markets this week, but there are other events and releases that markets will also be watching.

Gold and oil prices should see an early spurt today, while the prices of aluminium, alumina and bauxite will be rocked by the spreading impact of those tighter US sanctions on Russia and the giant aluminium group, Rusal, with Rio Tinto firmly ensnared.

There’s China’s first quarter GDP data tomorrow, Australian jobs for March on Thursday, a slate of corporate earnings in the US and quarterly production and exploration reports in Australia, and data releases from Japan, the US and Europe.

The AMP’s Chief Economist, Dr Shane Oliver says “Chinese March quarter GDP growth is likely to have remained at 6.8% year on year consistent with reasonably solid business conditions PMI readings so far this year and PBOC Governor Yi Gang indicating growth has been a bit better than expected."

Data will also be released showing March retail sales growth, industrial production, and fixed investment growth with the flow of money into property to be closely examined.

In Australia, March employment growth on Thursday is likely to be around 10,000 jobs with leading jobs indicators remaining solid but unemployment remaining around 5.6%.

And there is a handful of interim profits this week and quite a few quarterly reports (see separate story) from BHP, Rio Tinto, Woodside and Santos.

In Japan, inflation data (Friday) is likely to show a fall in CPI inflation to 1.1% year on year from 1.5% and core inflation remaining at 0.5% year on year, according to Dr Oliver.

In the US the March quarter reporting season steps up with around 60 companies reporting (see separate story). Watch for results from Amex, Netflix, Goldman Sachs, Bank America and Morgan Stanley.

US March retail sales are out tonight, our time with growth of 0.4% expected after several soft months. Housing approvals and starts (tomorrow night are expected to show solid gains while Dr Oliver says a 0.3% gain in industrial production is expected tomorrow night as well.

Manufacturing conditions surveys for the New York and Philadelphia regions will also be released along with the Fed’s Beige Book of anecdotal evidence ahead of the next meeting in May.

Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic, San Francisco president John Williams, Fed governor Randal Quarles, New York Fed president Bill Dudley and Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester — all monetary policy-setting members of the Federal Open Market Committee — will be speaking this week.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe is due to visit US President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on tomorrow. The leaders are expected to discuss North Korea and US tariffs on imports of aluminium and steel.

The Bank of Canada is expected to leave interest rates unchanged when it meets it delivers its decision on Wednesday.

The spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund’s board of governors kick off in Washington tonight, our time.

Central bankers, finance ministers, academics and business executives will gather to discuss issues like economic development, poverty, technology and gender politics.

The IMF will release updated economic forecasts and its financial stability report.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim are also expected to hold press conferences.

View More Articles By Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.



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