Greece, U.S. Retail Sales, Apple Watch: Week Ahead March 7-14

Euro-area finance ministers gather in Brussels, with Greece’s bailout program expected to be on the agenda. The country needs to refinance or repay $7.2 billion in debt or interest this month, according to Bloomberg data.

The European Central Bank begins its $1.2 trillion sovereign-bond purchase program, while the Federal Reserve releases results of its second set of stress tests of large U.S. banks.

Retail sales in the U.S., where consumer spending accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy, increased while consumer sentiment held close to an 11-year high, data may show.

Tim Cook will offer details about the Apple Watch, Apple Inc.’s first line of gadgets since he became chief executive officer in 2011.

Central banks in Russia, New Zealand, Thailand, Peru and Serbia make policy decisions.

Clocks in most of the U.S. and Canada move ahead one hour.


-The Scottish Labour Party holds a one-day conference in Edinburgh as it struggles to retain its half-century dominance in Scotland in the face of surging support for nationalists. A Labour meltdown in its Scottish heartland threatens to cost Ed Miliband his chance of taking the U.K. premiership on May 7. Time to be confirmed.

-Iowa Ag Summit. Potential U.S. presidential candidates present their views on farm policy and other topics in the state that holds the first nominating process. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be in attendance. Starts 08:30, Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa. (09:30 EST).

-China National People’s Congress. Commerce Ministry will give a briefing to members of the country’s top legislative body at the annual meeting in Beijing. Topics may include trade targets and a discussion on foreign businesses operating in China. Time not confirmed.

-Cricket World Cup. Group stage continues with South Africa facing Pakistan at 14:00 in Auckland (3/6 20:00 EST) and Zimbabwe playing Ireland at 14:30 in Hobart (3/6 22:30 EST). The knockout rounds begin March 18 with the final on March 29.


-Daylight saving time. Clocks in most of the U.S. and Canada spring forward one hour at 02:00 in the morning. U.S. East Coast time is now called Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

-International Women’s Day. Celebrated worldwide, the day has its roots in a 1908 New York protest march, when 15,000 women demanded better pay, hours and voting rights.

-China’s customs authority may say February exports rebounded after declining in January amid the yuan’s depreciation and a global recovery. 10:00 in Beijing (3/7 21:00 EST).

-China National People’s Congress. Foreign Minister Wang Yi will give a briefing on China’s foreign policy in Beijing. Time not confirmed.

-Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party holds its annual convention. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will give a speech. 10:00 in Tokyo (3/7 20:00 EST).

-Golf. The Cadillac Championship concludes at Trump National Doral, Miami. Tee times and pairings to be determined.

-Soccer. New York City FC, a new soccer franchise, makes its Major League Soccer debut against Orlando City. 17:00 in Orlando, Florida.

-Cricket World Cup. New Zealand faces Afghanistan at 11:00 in Napier (3/7 17:00 EST). Australia plays Sri Lanka at 14:30 in Sydney (3/7 22:30 EST). Knockout rounds begin March 18 with the final on March 29.


-Euro-region finance ministers meet in Brussels, where Greece’s bailout program, Cyprus’s rescue loans, banking union and budget plans may be on the agenda. Arrivals from 13:30 (08:30 EDT). A meeting with all 28 European Union finance ministers takes place on Tuesday.

-The European Central Bank will start its sovereign-bond purchases today as part of a quantitative easing program, President Mario Draghi said. Monthly purchases of assets will be 60 billion euros ($66.2 billion) through September 2016. The ECB’s QE may continue beyond September 2016 if needed, Draghi told a news conference in Cyprus on March 5.

-HSBC Holdings Plc Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver testifies before the Public Accounts Committee of Britain’s House of Commons as lawmakers seek information on practices at the company’s Swiss private-banking unit. Gulliver and Chairman Douglas Flint were previously questioned on the subject of tax avoidance and evasion by lawmakers in the Treasury Committee on Feb. 25. Starts at 15:15 in London (11:15 EDT).

-Apple smartwatch. Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook will give details about the company’s Apple Watch, his first line of gadgets since becoming chief executive officer in 2011. Apple’s new wearable device, which tracks health and fitness information, will come in two sizes and three styles. Apple Watch begins shipping to stores in April. 10:00 in San Francisco, California. (13:00 EDT).

-President Barack Obama meets with European Union President Donald Tusk at the White House on topics including Ukraine, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, climate change and counterterrorism.

-NABE Economic Policy Conference. Speakers at the National Association for Business Economics include Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs Nathan Sheets at 8:00 and Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester at 14:30. White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman speaks tomorrow at 08:00. Through March 10 in Washington. Click here for full schedule.

-Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference. Speakers include Philippe Dauman, chief executive officer of Viacom Inc.; Jeff Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner Inc.; and Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS Corp. In Palm Beach, Florida. Through March 11. Click here for full list of speakers.

-Japan releases revised gross domestic product data for the fourth quarter. Preliminary data last month indicated the country hobbled out of recession during the last quarter. 08:50 in Tokyo (3/8 19:50 EDT).

-German Chancellor Angela Merkel makes a two-day visit to Japan during which she will meet Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

-Polish central bank publishes its March 2015 inflation report and economic projections at 09:00 in Warsaw (04:00 EDT).

-U.S. government bond auctions, Fed debt purchases this week. Click here for schedule.

-U.S. initial public stock offerings this week. Click here for schedule.

-U.S. Supreme Court this week. Click here for schedule.

-ECONOMY: Mexico inflation (Feb.), Taiwan inflation (Feb.), Taiwan trade data (Feb.), German exports (Jan.), Spain house price index (4Q), Czech CPI (Feb.).



-Chinese inflation may have quickened in February from a month earlier as monetary easing filtered through to the broader economy. Consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in more than five years in January. 09:30 in Beijing (3/9 21:30 EDT).

-Chinese aggregate financing may have fallen in February as an economic slowdown deepened, signaling possible further easing by the central bank. The monetary authority will also announce money supply data. Any day from March 10 to March 15.

-EU finance ministers meet in Brussels to discuss Jean-Claude Juncker’s proposed 315 billion-euro ($348 billion) investment fund for infrastructure projects, banking union, French reform program and budget. Arrivals from 08:00 (03:00 EDT).

-Bank of Portugal releases data on Portuguese banks, including European Central Bank financing for February. Time to be determined.

-The Global Iron Ore & Steel Forecast conference takes place in Perth, Australia. Delegates will review the outlook for prices, supply and demand. Speakers include Andrew Harding, chief executive of iron ore at Rio Tinto Group; Jimmy Wilson, president of iron ore at BHP Billiton Ltd. 09:00 (03/09 21:00 EDT). Through March 11.

-The U.S. Energy Information Administration publishes its short-term energy outlook. 12:00 in Washington.

-NFL free agency period begins, during which some players can sign contracts with any other National Football League team. 16:00 EDT.

-ECONOMY: JOLTs U.S. job openings (Jan.), U.S. wholesale inventories (Jan.), Spain retail sales (Jan.), French Industrial Production (Jan.), Swiss unemployment (Feb.)



-Fed stress tests. The Federal Reserve releases results of its second set of exams of large U.S. banks. The evaluations released today assess each firm’s plans to make capital distributions, such as dividend payments, stock repurchases, or acquisitions. In its first set of tests released on March 5, the Fed analyzed whether banks have enough capital to absorb losses during certain market conditions. 16:30 in Washington.

-ECB and Its Watchers conference. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks at the annual conference in Frankfurt. 09:00 (04:00 EDT). Chief Economist Peter Praet, as well as Governing Council members Erkki Liikanen and Ewald Nowotny, are also scheduled to participate.

-German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier travels to Washington for talks with U.S. officials, and also visits Atlanta. Through Saturday, March 14. Full schedule to be determined.

-Baidu Inc. Chief Executive Officer Robin Li will speak at a press conference as part of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. 09:00 in Beijing (3/10 21:00 EDT).

-South African President Jacob Zuma will answer questions in Parliament raised by lawmakers during a debate on his state-of-the-nation speech. Opposition lawmakers are demanding he repay part of the public funds used to renovate his private residence. 15:00 (09:00 EDT).

-The U.S. Energy Information Administration releases its weekly oil inventory report. 10:30 in Washington.

-ECONOMY: U.S. monthly budget statement (Feb.), China industrial production, retail sales (Feb.), Turkey current account balance (Jan.), French non-farm payrolls (4Q), U.K. industrial production (Jan.)

-CENTRAL BANKS: Thailand rate decision

-EARNINGS: Deutsche Post AG


-U.S. retail sales probably increased in February, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey, fueled by job and income gains. The consumer accounts for about 70 percent of the economy. The Commerce Department releases figures at 08:30 in Washington.

-Icahn acquiring Trump casinos. Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. will seek court approval to exit bankruptcy and become part of the holdings of billionaire investor Carl Icahn, whose affiliates would gain control in exchange for $292.3 million in debt. 09:00, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Wilmington, Delaware.

-European Union justice and home affairs ministers start a two-day meeting to discuss controls on migration, the fight against terrorism and data privacy. 10:00 in Brussels (05:00 EDT).

-Riksbank will publish results of the central bank’s bond purchases. 10:10 in Stockholm (05:10 EDT).

-The U.S. Energy Information Administration releases its weekly natural gas storage report. 10:30 in Washington.

-ECONOMY: U.S. initial jobless claims (weekly), Bloomberg U.S. consumer comfort (weekly), U.S. business inventories (Jan.), Australian unemployment (Feb.), South Africa mining production (Jan.), South Africa manufacturing production (Jan.), German inflation (Feb.), Spain CPI (Feb.), French inflation (Feb.), U.K. RICS house-price index (Feb.)

CENTRAL BANKS: Peru rate decision, New Zealand rate decision, Serbian rate decision.

-EARNINGS: Dollar General Corp., Deutsche Lufthansa AG


-U.S. consumer sentiment in March probably held close to an 11-year high, according to a Bloomberg survey, as lower inflation and employment opportunities brightened Americans’ outlook. The University of Michigan releases its preliminary gauge at 10:00 in Washington.

-SIEPR Economic Summit on the Leading Issues of the Year. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke gives the keynote speech at Stanford University. After 18:45 in Palo Alto, California (21:45 EDT).

-Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly will vote on the impeachment case brought against 38 former senators charged with violating the 2007 constitution after their move to make the senate a wholly elected chamber in 2013. Time to be determined.

-Russia hosts Commonwealth of Independent States council meeting in Moscow. Time to be confirmed.

-Ambrosetti Workshop. Policy makers, bankers and academics attend the Ambrosetti Workshop in Cernobbio, Italy. 09:00 (04:00 EDT). Through Saturday.

-Czech central bank Governor Miroslav Singer speaks in London from 11:00 (07:00 EDT).

-Norway’s sovereign wealth fund releases annual report and discloses its global investment portfolio. 10:00 in Oslo (05:00 EDT).

-U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats begin a three-day spring conference in an effort to boost the party’s profile before the May 7 general election. Former party leader Paddy Ashdown, who’s running the election campaign, addresses a rally at 18:30 in Liverpool, northwest England (14:30 EDT).

-Opening day of a three-day Egyptian investment conference in Sharm El-Sheikh. Speakers include President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. Event starts at 09:00 (03:00 EDT).

-Lawyers for paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius will ask the High Court in Johannesburg to strike down a ruling by Judge Thokozile Masipa allowing prosecutors to appeal a verdict of manslaughter and seek a conviction for murder. 09:30 (03:30 EDT).

-ECONOMY: U.S. producer price index (Feb.), Canada jobs (Feb.), Brazil retail sales (Jan.), Mexico industrial production (Jan.), Hong Kong industrial production (4Q), Italy inflation (Feb.)

-SOVEREIGN RATING UPDATES: Azerbaijan (Fitch), Belgium (DBRS), Bosnia and Herzegovina (S&P), Cape Verde (Fitch), European Union (Moody’s), Greece (S&P), Ireland (DBRS), Kazakhstan (S&P), Rwanda (S&P), Sweden (S&P), Switzerland (Moody’s), Zambia (Fitch)

-CENTRAL BANKS: Russia central bank rate decision, Turkey Central Bank Survey of Expectations


-No scheduled events.