Are you enjoying the start of the new lunar calendar year? The Year of the Rabbit represents hope, peace and prosperity. And we all need more of these things in 2023. For now, however, this week will likely focus on the tougher issues of the present, not least China’s ability to vaccinate its citizens during the holiday season.
Labor disputes will continue with ambulance workers in England and Wales due to another strike on Monday. In Portugal, cabin crew at flag carrier TAP began a strike on Wednesday amid a dispute over the airline’s pay offer and working conditions.
In Westminster politics on Tuesday, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy will take a more positive tone as he outlines his party’s policy priorities. He is likely to weigh in on the UK’s relationship with the EU.
Coincidentally, Monday marks the 10th anniversary of former Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech on Europe, in which he pledged to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU and offer a referendum on membership. Perhaps Lammy will refer to this.
Also in the UK, but not dealing with the British government, Nigeria will launch a high-level legal process in London’s Supreme Court on Monday. The case concerns a long-running attempt to overturn an $11 billion arbitration award that left the Nigerian government owing more than a quarter of its foreign reserves to an obscure oil and gas company.
The most important election news of the next seven days is the second round of the Czech presidential election, which closes on Saturday. Former NATO commander Petr Pavel is the front runner. Donald Trump is also back. The former US president is expected to make his first public appearance on the 2024 campaign trail on Saturday, when he will name his South Carolina leadership team.
The fourth week of the month should be renamed survey week. Over the next seven days, we’ll have the comparison of the G7 countries with the Purchasing Managers Index updates and the Confederation of British Industry industrial trends survey on Tuesday, followed by Germany’s Ifo Business Climate report on Wednesday, as well as other metrics for consumer confidence.
On Thursday, the US will publish its first estimate for the development of gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of last year. Spain follows on Friday. There will be inflation updates from the UK, Australia, Spain, Sweden and Singapore on Wednesday. Japan will also report its consumer price index cost-of-living measure.
In central banking news, European Central Bank board member Fabio Panetta will appear before the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs on Monday. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Fed is entering its purdah period ahead of the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, which begins January 31, and the Bank of Canada’s monetary policy committee is expected to cut interest rates by another Increasing 25 basis points to 4.50 percent with the possibility of it signaling a break increases further.
Tech revenue is a major theme this week; Investors remain concerned about the outlook for the sector following a string of major job cut announcements from most of the largest companies. The approach of Microsoft, which reports second-quarter numbers on Tuesday, could be a model for other Big Tech players to follow, according to our West Coast editor Richard Waters. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella managed to be cautiously optimistic, announcing 10,000 layoffs last week to cut the cost base.
It’s going to be another week for Elon Musk viewers (just like any other week) along Tesla will announce its fourth-quarter results on Wednesday. The company has lowered the prices of its electric vehicles to boost demand in the US and Europe. We assume Musk is following the FT’s coverage of the latest numbers given the claims made by the billionaire’s attorney in court last week.
The war in Ukraine has boosted the fortunes of the world’s largest defense contractors, with governments pledging to spend more on weapons and other military equipment. Investors will be looking for comment from Lockheed Martin (reporting on Tuesday) and Northrop Grumman (out on Thursday) to see if these promises will generate future revenue.