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Economic calendar: Will SARB surprise markets again?


  • SARB to make first interest rate decision of 2019 today

  • Philly Fed index seen pushing higher in January

  • Netflix and Morgan Stanley among companies reporting earnings today

Thursday’s calendar looks empty with just a few readings scheduled for release. The European inflation report that will be published in the morning (10:00 am GMT) will be a revision of the initial December’s print therefore one should not expect any major price moves. Market consensus expects price growth metrics to remain unchanged versus initial release (1.6% for the headline measure and 1% for the core gauge). In the early afternoon South African Reserve Bank will make its first interest rate decision in 2019 (1:00 pm GMT). The Bank is broadly expected to leave benchmark rate at 6.75%. However, as the Bank already surprised markets with unexpected rate hike in November 2018 there is a common view that SARB may raise rates somewhere during the second quarter therefore ZAR traders should look for hints on incoming tightening in the statement. Last but not the least, some data from the US economy will be released at 1:30 pm GMT. Investors will be served weekly data on jobless claims and it is expect to show initial jobless claims of 219k. Simultaneously, Philly Fed manufacturing index will be released. The index is seen bouncing to 9.7 pts in January from 9.4 pts in December.

Central bank speakers scheduled for today:

  • 11:00 am GMT - ECB’s Lautenschlaeger

  • 3:45 pm GMT - Fed’s Quarles

Major US companies reporting earnings today:

  • American Express (AXP.US)

  • Netflix (NFLX.US)

  • Morgan Stanley (MS.US)

USDZAR managed to bounce off the 200-session moving average at the turn of November and December last year. Nevertheless, a failure to break above the 23.6% Fibo level of the upward move started at the beginning of 2018 cause the pair to plunge beneath the aforementioned moving average. The pair may be set to retest 1.5-month lows around 50% Fibo level (13.60). Source: xStation5

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