LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - Following are five big themes likely to dominate thinking of investors and traders in the coming week and the Reuters stories related to them.
The first G20 finance meeting of the Trump era will be held in Germany on March 17 and 18 and it could be a pivotal one. The draft communique shows major changes in language from last year, suggesting the new U.S. administration is already flexing its muscles on global trade and exchange rates. Gone is the line “We will resist all forms of protectionism”. Also gone is the pledge to refrain from competitive devaluations and targeting FX rates for competitive purposes, and the long-held warning against “disorderly” currency swings. Meanwhile, a nod to “global imbalances” is reinserted after a decade-long absence. Of course, all that is subject to change. The standard commitments and pledges of recent years may yet be repeated. But it’s up in the air. And nobody really knows how much sway the United States will have on these critical issues in the multilateral forum of the G20. Watch this space.
* ANALYSIS-Dollar under spotlight as first Trump-era G20 eyes FX stance overhaul
* TIMELINE - A history of G7, G20 and foreign exchange
* ECB’s Draghi says G20 must reject protectionism, devaluations
* G20 draft no longer rejects protectionism or competitive devaluations
U.S. employers added way more jobs than forecast in January and average earnings ticked higher, doing little to change market expectations of how far the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year. A 25 basis point rise on March 15 looks nailed-on -- futures price in more than a 90 percent probability of that happening. However, only two other hikes are fully priced in. The Fed itself indicated in December it planned to raise rates three times in 2017 and some in markets had been looking for even more. The slightly weaker than forecast growth in earnings prompted some to temper those expectations and the dollar fell against a basket of currencies.
* Strong U.S. job growth, rising wages set stage for Fed rate hike
* Goldman sees U.S. rate hike in June after one in March
* BREAKINGVIEWS-Payroll bump a fair wind for Trump economic agenda
* FOMC rate decision March 15; Norway central bank, Bank of Japan, Bank of England, Swiss National Bank March 16
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi caught markets off-guard when he said after the latest policy meeting that the bank had dropped a pledge to use all available instruments to raise growth and inflation as there was less urgency for more policy action. Deflation was less likely, although there was no “convincing upward trend” in inflation. The ECB kept its aggressive stimulus policy in place and made clear rates could still go lower if needed. However, money markets reacted by pricing in a rate hike by March 2018 and this was exacerbated after ECB sources said policymakers had discussed the possibility of raising rates before the scheduled December 2017 end of the stimulus programme. One trader likened this to pressing the accelerator and brake at the same time in a rally car.
* ECB’s Draghi gives market flavour of optimism
* BREAKINGVIEWS-Draghi is tugged towards tricky end of ECB easing
Wednesday’s Dutch parliamentary election, a litmus test of populism in the euro area, kicks off a busy election year in the euro zone. Anti-EU nationalist Geert Wilders hopes a global upsurge in anti-establishment feeling that helped to propel Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency and to persuade Britons to vote in favour of leaving the EU will propel him to power. Mainstream parties have ruled out forming a government with Wilders’ Freedom Party, which has meant top-rated Dutch bonds have been relatively resilient to political risks. Also, the Freedom Party has lost ground to centrist rivals in the polls in recent weeks and is now running second behind the pro-business liberals of Prime Minister Mark Rutte. But a fragmented political landscape means a coalition government of four or more parties is all but inevitable. And a win for Wilders would boost French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and the Alternative for Germany party, with French bonds likely to be in the firing line (again) on heightened worries about a populist backlash at the heart of the euro zone.
* Dutch premier urges Turkish foreign minister to stay away
* Wilders seeks to revive Dutch campaign by denouncing Turkish rallies
* Almost three quarter of French against ditching euro
* Euro/Swiss franc volatility jumps on French election uncertainty
Turkey’s central bank meets on March 16, a day after the Fed is expected to hike, and is in an unenviable position. Turkey is considered one of the most vulnerable emerging markets to Fed tightening given its large current account deficit and high external borrowing. But it has resisted investor calls for a steep rate hike, despite a 6 percent fall in the lira against the dollar year-to-date. The central bank is under pressure from President Tayyip Erdogan to cut rates, and has been forced to adopt increasingly unorthodox measures to defend the currency and fight double-digit inflation. It has not raised its benchmark policy rate -- currently at 8 percent -- since November, opting instead to push up the average cost of funding. Meanwhile the economy continues to struggle, with a 30 percent plunge in tourist revenues after a series of security scares -- a picture not improved by a diplomatic spat with Germany.
* Turkish central bank signals more tightening possible, lira weakens
* Turkish central bank tightens liquidity as inflation rises
* Turkish inflation hits double digits, piling pressure on central bank
* Turkey hopes discounts, fuel subsidies can reverse 30 pct tourism plunge
Compiled by Nigel Stephenson; Editing by Catherine Evans