Investing.com – Trade tensions look set to continue to dominate market sentiment this week, but investors will also be closely watching European Union election results, the political leadership race in Britain, a raft of global economic data and more U.S. retail earnings.
It will be a short week, with financial markets in the U.K. and the U.S. closed on Monday for holidays.
Here’s what you need to know to start your week.
1. Trade tensions still dominate
U.S. President Donald Trump will continue to hold talks with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe early this week amid tensions over differences on trade. Trump is unhappy with Japan’s large trade surplus and is considering slapping tariffs on its auto exports if a bilateral trade agreement is not reached.
On Friday, China will increase tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. imports in retaliation for the U.S. decision to hike duties on Chinese imports, escalating a trade war between the world’s two largest economies that threatens to damage the global economy.
The trade war has widened into a battle over who controls global tech after the Trump administration banned U.S. firms from doing business with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
On Friday, Trump held out some hope that Huawei could be part of a trade deal, but unless further talks are announced investors will remain unconvinced.
2. EU election results
Voting in EU elections wraps up on Sunday and eurosceptic parties are forecast to do well, including in the three biggest countries of the euro zone, Germany, France and Italy.
“Concerns are high that the center ground continues to fragment (across the EU) and that populists succeed in sufficient numbers to derail further European integration,” ING bank said in a note.
“For markets, the two things to watch will be a) if the collective eurosceptic share of the vote significantly exceeds 25% and b) whether these parties can work together as a united group over coming months.”
EU leaders are to hold talks in Brussels on Tuesday to start the process of appointing the next leaders of the EU institutions, including parliamentary, commission and council presidents.
The hunt for a new European Central Bank president will also be in focus as EU heads meet, with investors keen to see who will succeed Mario Draghi and whether they will emulate his approach to monetary policy.
3. Race to replace Theresa May
The contest to replace Theresa May as British prime minister is hotting up, with eight candidates now in the race, claiming that they can succeed where she failed by taking a deeply divided Britain out of the EU.
On Friday, May announced that she was stepping down over her failure to deliver Brexit. She tried three times to get a withdrawal deal she agreed with the EU through parliament, but was unable to build a consensus.
The original Brexit deadline of March 29 has been extended until Oct. 31 to see if any compromise can be reached. May’s resignation has raised the prospect of a new prime minister who could seek a no-deal Brexit or a possible general election.
4. Economic data updates
China is to release official PMI data for May on Friday amid growing concerns over the impact of U.S. imports tariffs on the world’s largest economy.
The U.S. will publish updates on and the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge on Friday, which will give fresh insight into the strength of the economy. Investors will get updated figures on U.S. first quarter growth on Thursday. Other U.S. data this week includes figures on and .
The is expected to keep monetary policy on hold at its upcoming meeting on Wednesday, ahead of data for March on Friday.
5. U.S. retail earnings on tap
A number of big U.S. retailers are scheduled to report earnings, including members only wholesaler Costco (NASDAQ:) on Thursday. Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:), Gap (NYSE:) and Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:) are also set to report on Thursday.
Other companies with earnings on tap this week include fashion retailers Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:) and Canada Goose (NYSE:) on Wednesday.
–Reuters contributed to this report