Currencies
Minutes release by FOMC and BoE may impact currency markets this week.REUTERS

The Bank of Japan's rate announcement on 20 November and release of minutes of the latest policy reviews of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the Reserve Bank of Australia will be the most watched central bank events in the upcoming week followed by rate decisions by South Africa, Chile and Turkey.

There are not many policymakers scheduled to speak this week except for RBA Governor Glenn Stevens, on Tuesday, after the minutes release.

The BoJ, after the surprise move on 31 October to further expand its qualitative and quantitative easing programme, is unlikely to add anything to it but may attempt to provide more clarifications in response to the criticism of triggering a "currency war".

The sharp yen selloff following the BoJ move coupled with the Fed signalling a sooner than earlier anticipated rate hike in the US had resulted in a very strong dollar rally.

Many market players are concerned about the fallout if more central banks follow in the steps of the BoJ and deliberately weaken their currencies for trade advantage.

FOMC, BoE and RBA Minutes

The Fed appeared more confident about the strength of US recovery when it met in the last week of October to set rates but the market will be interested to know the details as it was that meeting that announced the end of the Fed's QE programme.

The fact that there are members in the committee who are concerned about a sooner rate hike makes it interesting as to how tough was their stance at the latest meeting that produced a statement with a clear hawkish bias.

"While there's been considerable improvement in the US economy, "it still is premature to begin to raise interest rates –there remains slack in the labour market and the inflation rate is still too low," New York Fed President Dudley said on 13 November.

The BoE, on the other hand, looks less certain that the economy has been maintaining the same pace of growth momentum that was evident in August. It was at that month's meeting that two MPC members - Ian McCafferty and Martin Weale - voted for a hike.

Since then, they continued to vote for a rise in the bank rate from its record low of 0.5%, but the November case could prove different. At least one of them may get back to supporting a hold decision, thanks to a lack of growth boosting data from the UK, of late.

In case of such a change in the voting pattern, the UK pound will likely fall to deeper levels. It is already trading at a 14-month low against the US dollar.

The RBA minutes, as usual, are unlikely to move the markets, but the remarks about the strength of the Australian dollar will be of importance as commodity prices have fallen sharply in October.

Also, data from China is confirming the warning signals by agencies like the IMF of a more pronounced slowdown in the world's second largest economy, hurting the trade prospects of Australia.

The central bank's take or Stevens remarks on all these could move the markets, mainly the Aussie dollar.

EM Rate Decisions

Chile has been on an easing cycle since October last year. With the 25 basis points cut last month, the main policy rate there has been reduced to a four-year low of 3%. It was held at 5% for about 20 months through September last year.

The Turkish central bank has been struggling to curb inflationary pressures and boost growth amid uneasy international relations weighing on the trade prospects of the country.

As per the latest data, inflation in Turkey quickened in October while the unemployment rate has risen to a five-month high of 9.8%. In the second quarter, the Turkish economy had contracted 0.5%, revealing the pressure on growth.

South Africa, on the other hand, has hiked rates twice this year - by 50 basis points in February and another 25 basis points in July. The benchmark rate now stands at 5.75% which the central bank still calls accommodative.

"While inflation is the primary focus of the Committee, the MPC is also mindful of the anaemic state of the domestic economy, rising unemployment and the downside risk to its growth forecast," the South African central bank said in its September statement.