The Federal Reserve and RBA will be releasing policy meeting minutes in the coming week, while central banks in China and South Africa meet to set interest rates. On the economic data front, flash PMI surveys for the US, UK, Eurozone, Japan and Australia will give an insight about the state of the global economy. Other important releases to follow include US building permits and housing starts; Canada and UK inflation data and retail trade; Japan, Thailand and Eurozone Q1 GDP updates; China industrial production; and Australia employment figures.
Brent Ends Week on Positive Note
Brent crude settled 2% higher at $68.71 a barrel to finish the week on a high note on the back of a weaker dollar and prevalent risk appetite. On the supply side, OPEC+ started this month a gradual easing of its oil production curbs, pumping an extra 350,000 barrels a day, saying that demand will grow by 5.95 million barrels per day in 2021, helped by the swift rollout of coronavirus vaccinations worldwide. Also, the EIA predicted oil demand will outstrip supply as economies emerge from the pandemic.
Bovespa Rises for Second Day
Brazilian stocks rose for a second session on Friday, with the benchmark Bovespa closing above the 121,800 level as investors refocused on prospects of global recovery after dovish comments from Fed’s officials eased concerns that central banks would have to unwind its massive policy support sooner than expected. Qualicorp Consultoria e Corretora de Seguros SA and Cia Hering were among the biggest gainers on the index, up 7.2% and 6.4%, respectively. Still, the main Sao Paulo stocks index ended the week on a sour note.
Gold Hovers Near Three-Month Peak
Gold rallied nearly 1% to above $1,840 an ounce on Friday, just shy of a three-month peak of $1,845 touched earlier this week amid general dollar weakness and falling Treasury yields. Concerns that rising inflation would force central banks to tighten policy faded after a disappointing retail sales report and dovish comments from several Fed policymakers. Aside from economic headlines, the precious metal benefited from safe-haven demand stemming from the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Still, bullion ended the second week of May more than 1% down.