A lot to watch for today – US and UK GDP 

Friday could be one of the most interesting sessions of the week with GDP prints from the biggest economies, including the UK, US and Canada. What’s more, preliminary inflation data from the EMU is due in less than 2 hours and could have an impact on the European currency. 

9:30 am GMT – UK GDP. Economists are expecting that growth slowed to its lowest rate in 12 months – to around 0.4% to 0.5%, from 0.7% in the fourth quarter. The pound has quietly been recovering in recent weeks, back up to 1.29 against the US dollar from just 1.21 in mid-March. If GDP misses forecasts, then the pound may get tonked.

10:00 am GMT –  Euro-area inflation, due for release today, is likely to be close to the European Central Bank’s target in April. However, the acceleration should be largely driven by the timing of Easter rather than the health of the economy. As a result, the ECB is likely to move toward the exit from its ultra-loose monetary policy only at a snail’s pace.The market expects the headline HICP to rise to 1.8% year over year.

1:30 pm GMT – US GDP. The U.S. economy likely hit a soft patch in the first quarter as an unseasonably warm winter and rising inflation weighed on consumer spending, in a potential setback to President Donald Trump’s promise to boost growth. Reduced business investment in inventories and government spending cuts also crimped gross domestic product growth. A Bloomberg survey of economists conducted last week forecast GDP rising at a 1.0 percent annual rate, but many economists lowered their estimates after the government on Thursday released advance reports on the goods trade deficit and inventories in March.

1:30 PM GMT – Canada GDP. Canadian GDP growth is expected to slow to 0.1% on MoM basis. However, it’s worth remembering that the hard data was rather solid recently which means that an upside surprise shouldn’t be ruled out. In such situation the USDCAD could pare some of its gains. 

2:45 PM GMT – Chicago PMI. The market expects the index to fall to 56.4 from 57.7 in March

6:00 PM GMT – US rig count data. The rising output (due to more active rigs) is a reason behind the fall of the crude in last two weeks. Another rise could mean that more downside is ahead. 

We will also hear from two FED speakers today. Lael Brainard speaks 6:15 pm GMT, and Patrick Harker will follow her about an hour later. Both members have voting rights this year, so the market could react to those speeches.