The week ahead

Markets gear up for a hot and busy week on the calendar

By Nadia Elbilassy | @Nadia Elbilassy | 29 January 2024

Market close
  • All eyes on the upcoming two-day policy meeting of the Federal Reserve this Wednesday, expecting rates to remain at 5.25-5.50%.

  • Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East drive safe-haven demand, boosting the greenback.

  • Investors await insights from Fed Chair Jerome Powell's post-meeting press conference, hoping for signals of potential rate adjustments.

On the Market Watch!

Hot week for markets

This week's central bank focus goes beyond the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England (BoE), both expected to maintain their current positions. The upcoming highlight is the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting scheduled for Wednesday. With the expectation that the U.S. central bank will hold the fed funds target rate within the range of 5.25-5.50%.

Investors are eagerly awaiting cues from Fed Chair Jerome Powell's post-policy meeting press conference, anticipating any signals that officials might contemplate an earlier adjustment in rates. Such indications would signify confidence in their actions to address inflationary challenges.

The greenback was higher up ahead of non-farm payrolls and as safe haven demand was sparked by rising geopolitical tensions escalated in the Middle East.

The non-farm payrolls is expected to fall to 177K from 216K, meanwhile the unemployment rate is expected to rise to 3.8% from 3.7%, which could pressure the risk-on sentiment.

This week, other significant macroeconomic indicators to watch out for include China's manufacturing PMI and Australia's CPI, both scheduled for release on Wednesday. The data from China will play a crucial role in influencing oil prices, particularly as both benchmarks concluded their second consecutive week with gains driven by geopolitical factors.