Last week the market seemed fairly range-bound, although one of the main surprises was US jobless claims data which fell to its lowest level since 1973.
This week looks much more exciting in data terms than last week.
Looking to the week ahead, investors are keen to hear Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s semi-annual testimony to Congress. Markets will be looking for clues as to when the Fed is likely to raise rates again. The Federal Reserve is currently forecasting interest rates to rise to 2.125% by the end of 2018, whilst the markets are expecting around 1.5%.
January retail sales figures will be out this week. They rose by 1.6% in the last quarter of 2016 and are expected to rise again. Forecasts for CPI inflation suggest that it could rise to a 5-year high, to 2.4%. Expect a degree of volatility in the US markets this week.
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