The Week Ahead: World Cup Fever

After the excitement of three important central bank decisions in three days, there are fewer economic nibbles around for market watchers to sink their teeth into next week.

That is probably not such a bad thing given that the FIFA World Cup has already started with a bang in Russia. In the opening game, the host nation beat Saudi Arabia by five goals to nil. With more enthralling matches on tap, market trading could take a back seat.

That said, the Bank of England will announce its latest interest-rate decision. It is expected to keep interest rates at 0.5%. However, some believe that an increase may be on the table for August.

The Bank of Thailand also has an interest-rate announcement. In May it kept its one-day repurchase rate at 1.5%. It said its current monetary policy is to continue to support economic growth. But it warned that inflation could rise gradually.

The Philippines central bank is widely expected to keep interest rates at 3.25%. In May, the bank raised its benchmark rate by 0.25% to 3.25% to contain inflation. The rate of inflation climbed from 4.3% to 4.5% last month, which was the highest rate since November 2011.

Staying with inflation matters, Hong Kong will reveal the rate at which prices have been rising in the Special Administrative Region of China. In April they fell from 2.6% a month earlier to 1.9%. But they are expected to have climbed to 2.1% in May.

Japan also has inflation numbers. Both core inflation and the headline rate are expected to inch higher. In April, consumer prices fell to 0.6% from 1.1% a month earlier. That was attributed to an easing of food prices.

And finally, Singapore has inflation figures to report too. Core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private road transport, is expected to come in at 1.5%.

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