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BBH: markets to focus on Powell, Fed minutes, jobless claims this week

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(Kitco News) - Key events that financial markets will be focusing on this week include minutes of the late-April meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, a heavy slate of Fed speakers and another expected large rise in U.S. initial jobless claims, said Brown Brothers Harriman. The FOMC minutes are scheduled for release Wednesday. “The Fed took no action at that meeting but stressed that it stands ready to do more as needed,” BBH said. The next FOMC meeting is not until June 10, but “the calendar means nothing to the Fed” since policymakers are likely to keep acting quickly to address any issues, BBH said. The Fed speeches include testimony from Chair Jerome Powell via webcast before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Tuesday. U.S. economic data include housing starts on Tuesday, existing home sales and jobless claims on Thursday. The claims data have been watched extra closely during the COVID-19 pandemic for clues on the harm to the U.S. labor market. BBH noted that initial claims are expected to rise by another 2.425 million. “If so, this would mean that around 39 million will have become jobless over the last nine weeks, which is over 25% of the labor force,” BBH said.

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