BoE, Nafta talks, Google developer conference


Argentina, Apple, US jobs and the Federal Reserve hogged market attention this week. But trade talks, the Bank of England and Google’s annual conference are front-and-centre next week.

Here’s what to watch in the coming days.

Nafta talks

Senior trade officials from the US, Canada and Mexico are scheduled to resume talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) in Washington on Monday. Rules of origin for the auto sector remains one of the biggest sticking points.

President Donald Trump wants the negotiations hashed out by the end of May and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has previously said that Nafta would be “on thin ice” unless an agreement can be struck in the coming weeks, because were it to be delayed further the next Congress would have to approve the deal after the November midterm elections.

Google I/O

Google‘s annual developer conference gets under way in Mountain View, California on Tuesday. The conference is aimed at bringing developers together and people who make applications together, while also announcing updates that impact apps that run across Google platforms and devices.

Last year the company used its main annual showcase to highlight the growing importance of artificial intelligence in some of its most popular services.

Trump-Iran

President Trump has threatened to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal by May 12 unless UK, France and Germany address his criticisms of the accord. While the Trump administration has secured European backing to impose sanctions on Tehran should it seek to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), it also wants further limits on Iran’s wider ballistic missile programme. Investors will be watching for any further developments on that front.

Bank of England

Consensus is for the Bank of England to leave interest rates unchanged when it delivers its decision on Thursday, on the heels of data that showed economic growth in the UK unexpectedly fell to its lowest level in five years in the fist quarter. However, Mr Carney’s remark last month that “financial markets were wrong to believe an interest rate rise in May was a foregone conclusion” has injected some doubt.

“Our interpretation is that his interview was used to advertise that there will be a split of opinion, as hawks McCafferty and Saunders lead the charge to higher rates whilst Ramsden and Cunliffe are more likely to be cautious on the outlook for pay growth following the latest softer-than-expected out-turn,” said strategists at RBC Capital Markets.

“Even if the MPC does to decide to forgo a rate hike this month, it is unlikely that the language in the accompanying Inflation Report will change the outlook that a rate hike at some point this year remains on the table.”

Berkshire shareholder meeting

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Omaha, Nebraska this weekend for the annual shareholder meeting of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett’s investment vehicle, on Saturday, May 5. The meeting is viewed by some as an educational forum for value investors as they seek out Mr Buffett and Charlie Munger’s wisdom but attendees also get to tour the exhibition hall where Berkshire’s subsidiaries and the companies they invest in showcase their products.

At this year’s meeting investors could expect to hear on investment strategy, Well Fargo, trade and President Trump and possibly even some more insight into succession plans. Berkshire’s investment in Apple now totals $44bn, making it the third-largest shareholder in the iPhone maker.

Berkshire’s shareholder meeting will also be available on live stream on Yahoo Finance beginning at 9:45am ET.

US earnings and data

Earnings season begins to wind down with about 40 companies listed on the S&P 500 due to report quarterly updates. Sysco, Tyson Foods, Walt Disney, Marriott, Electronic Arts, TripAdvisor, 21st Century Fox and Nvidia are among the companies posting results next week.

The economic calendar is fairly quiet next week though consumer prices, due Thursday, are likely to garner scrutiny following a soft reading on wages in April’s jobs report.


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BoE, Nafta talks, Google developer conference

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