Global financial markets digest the effect of last weeks’ major events and announcements.
Among the major events of this week will be the U.S. inflation data, CPI and retail sales for February. The reports are going to provide further clues about the health of the US economy ahead of the FOMC meeting that will take place on March 20-21.
On Tuesday, the US CPI will be published at 12:30 GMT. Analysts expect consumer prices to rise 0.2%, weakening from January's 0.5% increase, while core inflation is forecast to tick up 0.2%. The
February retail sales will be published on Wednesday at 12:30 GMT. The forecast is that retail sales rose 0.3% last month, covering the 0.3% decline in January. A higher growth rate of consumption and inflation could be a catalyst to drive the Fed toward faster interest rate hikes than currently expected.
In Europe, investors will also get the monthly inflation data to evaluate how fast the European Central Bank could end its massive economic stimulus program in the wake of last week's ECB meeting. The eurozone’s inflation figures for February will be published on Friday at 10:00 GMT. The report is expected to confirm that consumer prices rose 1.2%, 0.1% slower than in the previous month.
Elsewhere, market participants will keep an eye out for Chinese industrial production data amid recent signs that momentum in the world's second largest economy remains strong.
China is expected to release February industrial production figures at 02:00 GMT on Wednesday, amid expectations for an increase of 6.3%, a tick better than the 6.2% recorded in the previous month. Analysts expect investors will not have the full picture of China's economic health until first-quarter data is released in April.