Week Ahead – Profit Season is upon us

A welcome distraction

It was quite the start of the year, with omicron fears fading and being replaced once again by interest rate anxiety. This could be the theme for months to come, as policymakers are forced to take inflationary pressures more seriously in the hope that a little now will avoid the need for much later.

Profit season can provide a welcome distraction at a time when fear has once again become a dominant driver of the markets. While the uncertainty of inflation is a major risk, it should be remembered that the economy is in a very good position and the reporting season, which kicks off next week, should remind you in due course.

Finally, it should be noted that there are currently various other factors of volatility in the markets and Russia is only involved in most of them. Although Putin did a sneaky dig at CBRT in his annual speech while praising his own central bank’s approach to inflation. President Erdogan does not appear to have too many allies in his quest for low inflation through lower interest rates.


The coming week will feature a very hot report on inflation, the banks kicking off the earnings season, the US-Russian talks and a group of Fed speeches. Inflation is not slowing down and will continue to worry the Fed. Headline year-over-year inflation is expected to drop from 6.8% to 7.1% on Wednesday, a record for nearly four decades. The last trading day of the week is filled with economic releases which should show a deceleration with retail sales, the import price index, industrial production and consumer sentiment.


The data for next week consists mostly of level two and level three releases that will have little impact on the central bank in the coming months. The pressure is mounting after inflation hit a new high in December. Traders will look for any sign that policymakers will give in to the pressure, although they have been assured so far that inflation is transient.


The tightening cycle began in December and traders will continue to monitor the data as markets assess four more hikes this year. But next week is devoid of any level one releases, most notable being the NIESR GDP estimate on Monday and the official monthly GDP reading on Friday.


Next week’s high point on the data front is inflation on Wednesday, with the CPI edging down to 8.2%. It’s still more than double its 4% target but is heading in the right direction after an aggressive series of central bank rate hikes.

The focus will remain on other activities as far as Russia is concerned, as is so often the case. Whether it is activity at the Ukrainian border, gas supply to Europe (or its absence) or involvement in Kazakhstan.

South Africa

Next week promises to be calm, with manufacturing output being the only notable economic release.


Turkey continues to favor unconventional approaches to support the currency as it seeks lower interest rates at all costs. So far, this has happened in the form of soaring inflation (now at 36%) and a large chunk of foreign exchange reserves as she tries to manipulate the currency and support state-owned enterprises. The depletion of reserves is not sustainable and although the lira is at an all-time low, it has slipped over the past two weeks. Erdogan is more and more desperate and does not seem in the mood to change course.


Chinese real estate developers will dominate the weekend’s news with Evergrande in a race to renew CNY 4.5 billion of locally-denominated debt by this weekend. How this story unfolds will determine whether Chinese stocks continue to retreat or recover on Monday. In addition, the government appears to be moving towards a separate treatment of official debt ratios by SOEs to buy back debt used to buy out weak developers. If confirmed to be correct, it is potentially bullish for China / HK stocks.

China’s CPI on Wednesday won’t move the needle, but if the official trade balance falls on Friday, it could weigh on local stocks.

Watch for widening city closures across China as omicron proves stubborn to remove.


The Indian rupee is holding up surprisingly well against the liquidation of other Asian currencies. The rally in post-omicron sentiment has renewed hot capital inflows into India, supporting INR and local stocks. Look at the number of cases in India, however, it is increasing rapidly and will be a test of the premise that countries without vax RNA will also see fewer hospitalizations. Potentially negative if incorrect.

Inflation on Friday presents upside risks that could be a negative stagflationary factor for INR and Sensex through the end of the week.


No significant data. Watch for increasing statewide restrictions as Omicron cases soar. More severe restrictions could be negative for equities and AUD.

The AUD is fueled by cautious risk sentiment in currency markets as US yields strengthen following tightening Fed expectations.

New Zealand

No significant data.

NZD recedes on Fed tightening sentiment according to AUD.

Watch for the headlines of community transmission of omicron, which could be negative in the near term for NZD and local stocks, and the RBNZ hike in February could be postponed… again.


No significant data this week. The USD / JPY remains at the mercy of the US / Japan rate differential. That widened this week as US yields soared, pushing USD / JPY to 116.00. The finance ministry has started to “monitor exchange rate rhetoric,” signaling concern over the pace of the decline.

The Nikkei continues to show a strong correlation with the directional movements of the Nasdaq. The BoJ has quietly indicated this week that it will not seek to widen its balance sheet. The next JGB auction this week, if poorly supported, could be negative for equities in the near term.

Economic calendar

Saturday January 8


  • Atlanta Fed Chairman Bostic and ECB Schnabel speak at American Economic Association / Allied Social Science Association Virtual Annual Meeting Continues

Sunday January 9


  • Mann of the BOE speaks at the AEA Virtual Meeting.
  • Beginning of US-Russian bilateral negotiations in Geneva
  • Iraqi parliament meets

Monday January 10

Economic data / Events

  • Wholesale inventories in the United States
  • Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic speaks at the Rotary Club of Atlanta
  • Building permits in Australia
  • Euro zone unemployment
  • unemployment in Italy

Tuesday January 11

Economic data / Events

  • Confirmation hearing of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at the Senate Banking Committee.
  • Kansas City Fed Chairman George speaks
  • Saint-Louis Bullard Fed Chairman speaks
  • Australian trade balance, retail sales
  • Mexico international reserves, industrial production
  • Manufacturing production in South Africa
  • Spain industrial production
  • Turkey current account

Wednesday January 12

Economic data / Events

  • US CPI, Fed Beige Book, WASDE Agricultural Report
  • China IPP, IPC
  • Speech by BOJ Governor of Japan Haruhiko Kuroda at the Branch Managers Meeting.
  • Industrial production in the euro area
  • Indian industrial production, CPI
  • CPI Russia
  • EIA Crude Oil Inventory Report

Thursday January 13

Economic data / Events

  • Initial Unemployment Claims in the United States, PPI
  • Hearing of the US Senate Banking Committee for Lael Brainard appointed Vice President of the Fed.
  • Richmond Fed Chairman Barkin speaks at an event hosted by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.
  • Philadelphia Fed Chairman Harker speaks at the Philadelphia Business Journal’s economic event.
  • Chicago Fed Chairman Evans speaks at an event hosted by the Milwaukee Business Journal.
  • Turkey industrial production
  • Italy industrial production
  • Japan’s M2 money supply
  • New Zealand building permit
  • Norges Bank Q4 Survey on Bank Lending

Friday January 14

Economic data / Events

  • U.S. Bank Profit Season Begins: JPMorgan, Citigroup, Wells Fargo Report Before the Bell
  • New York Fed Chairman John Williams speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations.
  • US retail sales, business inventories, industrial production, consumer sentiment
  • china trade
  • India trade, wholesale price
  • IPC France
  • Japan IPP
  • Spain CPI
  • british industrial production