In the US, investor focus turns to the FOMC minutes due Wednesday on hopes it might clarify policymakers' views on the monetary policy path as the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus continues to spread. Confirmed US cases surpassed 256,000 on Friday, with more than 6,500 deaths, most of them in New York City. The Federal Reserve has already slashed interest rates to near zero and announced more QE measures and corporate bond buying to help support the flow of credit to households and businesses. On the economic data front, the consumer price inflation is seen slowing to the lowest since June last year, while the preliminary reading of Michigan consumer sentiment is expected to point to a sharp deterioration in consumer morale during April as many Americans are in lockdown and non-essential businesses were forced to close. Other notable publications are producer prices, JOLTs job openings, IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism and the government's budget statement.
Elsewhere in America, the central bank of Mexico is also due to publish its monetary policy meeting minutes. Key economic data to follow include Canada employment figures, Ivey PMI and housing starts; Mexico inflation rate; and Brazil retail sales and consumer prices.
Across the Atlantic, the UK monthly GDP figures are expected to point to an economic growth of 0.1 percent during February, boosted by a small rebound in industrial production. Investors will also keep an eye on foreign trade balance, Construction PMI, Halifax House Price index and new car sales.
Elsewhere in Europe, an Eurogroup meeting will be held on April 7th, aiming to deliver proposals to reinforce a coordinated action against Covid-19. EU leaders failed on March 26th to agree on a response and gave finance ministers two more weeks to find a solution, with France, Italy, Spain and six other European Union countries calling for a joint debt issuance and Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Austria firmly opposing it. Regarding the economic calendar, key releases include the Eurozone Construction PMI; Germany factory orders, industrial output and trade balance; Spain consumer morale; Italy industrial production and retail sales; France foreign trade; Switzerland and Turkey jobless rates; Russia, Ireland and the Netherlands inflation rates; and Poland interest rate decision.
China will be publishing consumer and producer prices, with forecasts pointing to fall in consumer inflation and a deeper producer deflation amid the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Japan's machinery orders and household spending are seen falling sharply in February as the covid-19 hit the economy. Other important releases include consumer morale, current account, producer prices, Eco Watchers Survey and the preliminary reading of February's leading economic index. The Reserve Bank of Australia will hold its monetary policy meeting on Tuesday, but no changes are expected, as the cash rate is now at its effective lower bound after a second emergency meeting in a bid to shield the economy from the impact of the coronavirus. Traders will turn their attention to Ai Group services index, trade balance, home loans and ANZ job ads.
Other highlights for the Asia-Pacific region include: South Korea interest rate decision; India Markit Services PMI; Thailand consumer prices; Taiwan inflation rate and foreign trade; Indonesia consumer sentiment; Malaysia industria output; and the Philippines trade balance, industrial output and consumer prices.