Investors all ears as Trump set to break silence
08 Jan 2017 - 22:29
London: US and Chinese data and an expected news conference by US President-elect Donald Trump in the coming week may shed some light on the state of the world's two biggest economies - and the outlook for relations between them.
Trump, who takes office on January 20, has said he will hold a news conference on Wednesday. It will be his first since winning the November election, although he has been outspoken on Twitter.
Investors will welcome any insights he may give on his policies regarding China as well as the domestic economy.
"This occasion could be an opportunity for Trump to highlight key priorities, with markets especially alert to details regarding tax reform, infrastructure spending plans and his China trade stance," Standard Chartered said in a weekly note to investors.
Some analysts are concerned about the broad economic and political impacts of Trump's relations with the rest of the world.
"Trump's plans for trade and foreign policy in particular are fraught with considerable threats to the real economy," Commerzbank currency strategist Thu Lan Nguyen wrote, suggesting a trade war with China or Mexico may do the US economy more harm than good.
On the US domestic front, expectations of heavy spending under Trump to create jobs in the Rust Belt states that swung the election his way have helped lift consumer sentiment to multi-year highs and driven up Treasury yields in a burst of "Trumpflation." One gauge of that sentiment will be US retail sales data for December due on Friday. They are expected to show a 0.7 percent rise from the previous month, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
Another will be the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, also out on Friday, which economists polled by Reuters expect to come in at 98.5, the highest reading since early 2004.
As 2017 progresses, some economists see U.S. wage growth and tax cuts outweighing the impact of higher interest rates and oil prices to keep shoppers driving the economy forward.
"Higher interest rates and rising gasoline prices will be headwinds for the consumer sector, but solid labor income and the prospects for personal tax cuts will eventually support decent consumption growth," Credit Suisse said in a weekly report.
In a reflection of the prolonged weakness of China's yuan, data on Saturday showed Beijing's forex reserves dwindled to just above $3 trillion in December - the lowest level in nearly six years.
While the yuan has soared in recent days, helping create a liquidity squeeze in Hong Kong,