AUSTRALIAN DIARY: Everything you need to know about the week ahead for markets

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Global stock markets were calm to end the week as the S&P500 edged higher to cap a weekly gain of 2.4%, the best performance in two months.

The US dollar index fell in the wake of Thursday night’s subdued inflation data after hitting its highest level of 2018 earlier in the week.

That provided some support for the Aussie dollar, which had a mixed session to end the week but edged higher against the greenback to close at 0.7542 US cents.

Australia gets a double shot of key data on the labour market, with the quarterly wage price index on Wednesday followed by monthly jobs growth figures on Thursday.

It’s a quieter week abroad, with key data led by the final readings for Q1 GDP and inflation data in Europe, and retail sales figures in the US.

Australia

On Tuesday, the RBA will be prominent with minutes from the central bank’s May interest rate announcement scheduled for release at 11:30am AEST.

In addition, RBA deputy governor Guy Debelle will make two speeches, starting with one titled “The Outlook for the Australian Economy,” at the CFO Forum in Sydney (9:10am AEST).

He’ll follow that up with a discussion about interest rate benchmark reform (11:10am AEST).

The median forecast for wage data (Wednesday, 11:30am AEST) is for quarterly growth of 0.6% in the three months to March.

That will leave annual growth at 2.1% — in line with the previous result (which beat expectations), but still well below the long-term average.

Amid an extended period of low growth, wage updates have become one of the most important data releases in Australia with the potential to influence the outlook for domestic consumption, inflation and interest rates.

On Thursday, markets are forecasting the monthly employment report to show Australia’s economy added 15,000 jobs in April.

That follows a subdued reading for March, which indicated that Australia’s record run of jobs growth is starting to show signs of a slowdown.

International

Europe will get the final readings for Q1 GDP and inflation on Tuesday and Wednesday night respectively.

The data is likely to confirm that the Eurozone economy has hit a soft patch, although ANZ’s currency strategists say most of that has already been priced into the euro, which is down 4.9% from its 2018 high.

In addition, the widely-read ZEW survey of German business sentiment comes out on Tuesday night, and follows on from a bad miss in April which saw the reading fall to a five-year low.

Also on Tuesday night the UK has jobs data for March, including the unemployment rate and average hourly earnings.

And US retail sales figures for April on Tuesday night will give an update on the Q2 consumption outlook, after US consumer spending in Q1 was relatively subdued.

There’s also Japanese inflation data on Friday and the usual round of US Fed speakers.

Here’s the full calendar, via ANZ:

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