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APAC Week Ahead: Risk appetite improves, spotlight on US non-farm payrolls

US jobs

Asia markets are expected to benefit in the week ahead from the tailwind of a two-week rally by US stocks. The inflows into global equity funds are seen on the rise with bond yields spiking. This indicates investment funds are seeking risk assets as the bond selloff deepens. At the same time, decades-high inflation, intensifying geopolitical tension, and worrisome bond yields curves are flagging an alert of “stagflation” to the global economy.

Key points 

  • Focus on whether risk-on sentiment can send US stock markets higher after a two-week rally.
  • Hedging activities and safe-haven demands may keep commodity markets strong.
  • US non-farm payrolls data is focus for near-term view of USD.

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Instruments to watch

US stocks

Major US indices gained for a second consecutive week. The S&P 500 had a bullish break-out at the 200-day moving average and closed just under the 100-day moving average last week.

Whether the risk-on sentiment can send stock markets higher will be the focus this week. Check market moves.

Oil and Gold

Bellwether commodities, such as oil and gold, regained bullish momentum last week amid the ongoing Ukraine crisis and economic uncertainties. Hedging activities and safe-haven demands may keep the commodity markets strong towards the month-end before quarterly earnings season. See gold and oil prices.


The USD didn't take lead from spiking US bond yields; instead, AUD, NZD, and CAD currencies are riding on rising export prices. Whether a strong USD can return during the war-shaped global-trades restructuring will be interesting to see. The upcoming US non-farm payrolls data is a focus for near-term view. Watch USD movements.

Key economic data and events

US final GDP, CB Consumer confidence, PCE, Non-farm payrolls, and manufacturing PMI

It's a busy week for US economic data with non-farm payrolls in the spotlight. According to Thomson Reuters, 475,000 new jobs have been added in March, which will push the unemployment rate down to 3.7%. Wages growth is also expected to rise as much as 0.4% from a month ago.

Other influential economic data expected, such as the US PCE data, which reflects the individual consumer price changes, is a key measurement for the US Federal Reserve to decide monetary policy.

The US CB consumer confidence, the ISM manufacturing PMI and final GDP will help gauge the impact of decades-high inflation on the economy.

China manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMIs

The China March PMIs will give clues on how much impact recent lockdowns in major cities have had on the world's second-largest economy. Consensus calls are for signs of slowing down to 57.6 from 58.4 the previous month. However, the war-induced rising freight cost might add upside pressure to the data.

US, EU, UK, and Japan are also releasing PMIs this week, providing a big picture of the global economic development through the course of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Australia retail sales, budget, and building approvals

Ongoing improvement in consumer confidence is expected with Australian retail sales picking up to 1.8% in January as the impact of Omicron faded. The data is expected to slow to 1% in February.

The government will release the fiscal 2023 budget on Tuesday. It's expected to scale back the pandemic-era stimulus in the fiscal policy since the economy has recovered strongly despite the RBA having little intention to raise interest rates.  

Australia’s building approvals number dropped significantly by 27.9% in January due to the normalisation policy. The February data is expected to improve by 7.5% according to consensus.

New Zealand business confidence

New Zealand March business confidence is a key economic gauge to measure if a flaring domestic inflation and health restrictions have been negatively affecting the economy. The business confidence index has dropped down to -51.8 in February, the lowest level since Mach 2020. With the borders reopening and scaling back Covid containment measures, the data is expected to improve in March.

Canada GDP

The Canada January GDP is forecast at 0.2% MoM vs. 0.0% growth in December. 

Europe’s Week Ahead

  • Euro area flash CPI (March)

  • AG Barr full-year results

  • Bellway half-year results

Read more.

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