Obama in Europe, Stress Tests, Microsoft: Week Ahead March 24-29

March 24 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Barack Obama attends a Group of Seven meeting in The Hague this week, called in response to the crisis in Ukraine.

Obama will also meet with leaders from 20 nations to discuss how to keep nuclear material out of terrorists’ hands.

U.S. consumer confidence, new home sales and personal spending data will be released.

The Federal Reserve will publish its second set of results from stress tests on the biggest U.S. banks.

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella will debut Microsoft Office for Apple Inc.’s iPad.

Companies releasing earnings include Walgreen Co., Bank of China Ltd., Accenture Plc and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA.


-Nuclear summit. U.S. President Barack Obama is joined by leaders from more than 20 countries including Russia, China, Japan and Germany in The Hague for a two-day summit to discuss how to keep nuclear material out of terrorists’ hands. Talks start at 15:00 CET (10:00 EDT) and conclude with a news conference at 16:00 CET tomorrow. Obama will also meet before the summit with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

-Obama’s five-day trip to Europe and Middle East. In addition to the nuclear summit, President Obama will attend a Group of Seven meeting in The Hague called in response to the crisis in Ukraine, followed by a U.S.-EU meeting in Brussels, an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican and a meeting with Arab leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Through March 29.

-U.S. aid for Ukraine. The Senate plans a test vote on a bill allowing $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine and requiring sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian officials designated as responsible for corruption and violence. The bill would change a formula to boost the U.S. share of funding for the International Monetary Fund, a provision opposed by House Republicans. 17:30 in Washington.

-U.S. minimum-wage bill. The Senate may consider as early as this week legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from $7.25. The bill would need 60 votes to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate.

-HSBC and Markit China manufacturing purchasing managers’ index may improve in a preliminary March reading, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists, as production rebounds following the Lunar New Year holiday. February’s gauge fell to 48.5, the lowest in seven months. 09:45 in Beijing (03/23 21:45 EDT).

-The European Union’s monthly crop report, which sometimes includes Russia and Ukraine, is issued by its MARS crop-monitoring unit. Wheat entered a bull market on March 12 on speculation that shipments from Russia and Ukraine may be curtailed. 10:00 in London (06:00 EDT).

-European Central Bank Governing Council member Erkki Liikanen speaks at a Bank of Finland quarterly press briefing. 11:00 in Helsinki (05:00 EDT).

-The Gastech conference takes place in South Korea, the world’s biggest buyer of liquefied natural gas after Japan. Delegates include Peter Coleman, chief executive officer of Woodside Petroleum Ltd., and Roger Bounds, global head of LNG at Shell Upstream International. 09:00 in Seoul (03/23 20:00 EDT). Through 03/27.

-The annual Mines and Money conference takes place in Hong Kong, gathering more than 3,000 investors, mining executives, brokers and analysts. Through 03/28.

-The IHS International LPG Seminar takes place in Houston. Through 3/25.

-U.S. Supreme Court is in session for 2013-14 period. Click this line for the weekly schedule.

-ECONOMY: Chicago National Activity Index (Feb.), Mexico bi-weekly inflation (March), Taiwan unemployment (Feb.), Taiwan industrial production (Feb.), Euro-area manufacturing/services PMI (March, estimate).

-CENTRAL BANKS: Israel rate decision.



-The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index probably rose in March, according to a Bloomberg survey, indicating spending will rebound after a weather-related slowdown. 10:00 in New York.

-U.S. new home sales probably declined in February, according to a Bloomberg survey, as winter weather, higher borrowing costs and rising prices slowed demand. 10:00 in Washington. The S&P/Case-Shiller index also may show home prices accelerated at a slower pace in in January. The S&P/Case-Shiller numbers are released at 09:00 in Washington.

-U.S. bond auctions. The Treasury Department is scheduled to sell $32 billion in two-year notes today, $13 billion in two-year floating-rate notes and $35 billion in five-year notes on March 26, and $29 billion in seven-year notes on March 27.

-U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on employer birth-control mandate. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requirement that companies provide contraception coverage for employees will be argued at the high court as two family owned companies, Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., seek religious exemptions. The court will rule by July. 10:00 in Washington.

-U.S. Candy Crush IPO. King Digital Entertainment Plc, maker of the smartphone game “Candy Crush Saga,” plans to raise as much as $533 million in an initial public offering that would value the whole company at $7.6 billion, the high end of the price range. King Digital, whose owners include Apax Partners LLP and Index Ventures, will list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol KING. Its first day of trading is March 26.

-GM recall. General Motors Co. is to supply documents to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee related to the recall of 1.4 million cars to fix faulty ignition switches. The panel has asked for records from an internal GM engineering team that investigated potential defects, field reports, consumer complaints and other data.

-U.S. hearing on over-the-counter drugs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration holds a two-day public hearing to discuss how to modernize the regulation of over-the-counter drugs, including updating drug labels based on evolving science or new safety information, and creating a system for receiving data on all drug ingredients. 09:00 in Silver Spring, Maryland.

-Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann speaks at Foreign Press Association event in Berlin. 17:30 CET (12:30 EDT).

-Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco speaks at an event at the University of Pavia. 09:30 CET (04:30 EDT).

-The Sogat Sour Oil and Gas Technology conference takes place in Abu Dhabi. The event focuses on the latest developments in sour oil and gas processing. 08:00 in Abu Dhabi (00:00 EDT). Through 3/25.

-Iran Oil & Gas conference takes place in London. Speakers include Mehdi Varzi, president of Varzi Energy. Iranian oil officials aren’t scheduled to attend. 09:00 U.K. time (05:00 EDT).

-Hungary’s central bank will cut its benchmark interest rate to a record-low 2.6 percent from 2.7 percent, according to 10 of 13 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Two of the forecasts were for unchanged borrowing costs and one predicted a reduction to 2.55 percent. Announcement at 14:00 CET (09:00 EDT).

-Portuguese government releases year-to-date budget report. Timing not given.

-ECONOMY: Hong Kong trade data (Feb.), Turkey capacity utilization (March), German Ifo business-confidence index (March), French manufacturing confidence (March), U.K. inflation (Feb.).

-CENTRAL BANKS: Morocco rate decision, Nigeria rate decision.

-EARNINGS: Agricultural Bank of China Ltd., Walgreen Co., Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA, Kingfisher Plc, Terna Rete Elettrica Nazionale SpA.


-Fed stress tests. The Federal Reserve releases results from stress tests on hypothetical bank payouts, including dividends and stock buybacks. The Fed’s study will show how major banks would perform under dire economic scenarios if they made proposed payouts to investors. The results, along those from the first test released on March 20, will help determine whether the central bank approves the payouts of specific companies. 16:00 in Washington.

-U.S. durable goods orders barely increased in February after declining the previous two months, according to a Bloomberg survey, indicating it will take time for manufacturing to improve after a rise in inventories. The Commerce Department reports at 08:30 in Washington.

-U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the leader of the anti-European Union U.K. Independence Party, Nigel Farage, hold the first of two broadcast debates on whether Britain should stay in the European Union in the run-up to May’s European Parliament elections. 19:00 in London (15:00 EDT).

-European Central Bank Governing Council Member Luis Maria Linde speaks in Madrid. 14:00 CET (09:00 EDT).

-U.S. Energy Information Administration releases weekly oil supply report. 10:30 EDT.

-RBA Governor Glenn Stevens speaks at Credit Suisse forum in Hong Kong.

-ECONOMY: South Korea GDP (fourth quarter), Brazil total outstanding loans (Feb.), German GfK consumer confidence (April), Swiss consumer indicator (Feb.).

-CENTRAL BANKS: Bank of Thailand will release minutes following its March 12 rate decision.

-EARNINGS: Bank of China Ltd.


-The Bank of England publishes the statement from its March 19 Financial Policy Committee meeting. The panel, led by Governor Mark Carney, is monitoring the housing market and has said it will assess the potential impact of additional tools to cool mortgage growth. 09:30 in London (05:30 EDT).

-Microsoft’s Office for iPad debut. Satya Nadella, chief executive officer since February, will debut Microsoft Office for Apple Inc.’s iPad. The software will offer certain features for free and users can upgrade to premium versions with a subscription. It would be Nadella’s first public appearance at a product rollout since becoming CEO. 10:00 in San Francisco. (13:00 EDT).

-President Obama holds talks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Rome and meets Pope Francis in Vatican City.

-ECB Governing Council member and Bank of Finland Governor Erkki Liikanen hosts a discussion on the Finnish economic crisis at the Mint Museum in Helsinki. 17:30 (11:30 EDT).

-Swiss National Bank policy maker Fritz Zurbruegg speaks at the Zurich Money Market Reception. 18:00 CET (13:00 EDT).

-The International Grains Council’s monthly grains and oilseeds supply and demand report. Last month, the soybean harvest forecast was cut because of dry weather in South America. 15:00 in London (11:00 EDT).

-The U.S. Energy Information Administration releases its weekly natural gas supply report. 12:00 EDT.

-Panasonic Corp. President Kazuhiro Tsuga will outline the company’s business plan for the fiscal year starting April 1. 17:30 in Tokyo (04:30 EDT).

-The Czech central bank will leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.05 percent, according to all 11 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The announcement is at 13:00 CET (08:00 EDT).

-ECONOMY: China industrial profits (Feb.), U.S. initial jobless claims (weekly), U.S. GDP (fourth quarter, third estimate), U.S. consumer comfort (weekly), pending home sales (Feb.), Brazil unemployment rate (Feb.), Argentina GDP (fourth quarter), South Africa PPI (Feb.), U.K. retail sales (Feb.), ECB money-supply data (Feb.), German retail sales (Feb.).

-EARNINGS: Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.; United Co Rusal, Hennes & Mauritz AB, Accenture Plc, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, Pirelli & C. SpA, Raiffeisen Bank International AG.

-CENTRAL BANKS: Philippines rate decision, Norway rate decision, South Africa rate decision.

-PGA Tour. The $6.2 million-purse Texas Open starts in San Antonio, Texas. Martin Laird was last year’s winner. Tee times to be determined. Through March 30.

-National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament regional semifinal games are played today and tomorrow, March 28. Click for schedule.


-U.S. personal spending probably increased in February, according to a Bloomberg survey, partly reflecting outlays on utilities as temperatures dropped. A projected gain in incomes will help provide American consumers, who account for about 70 percent of the economy, with the means to spend further. 08:30 in Washington.

-ECONOMY: University of Michigan U.S. consumer confidence (March, final), Brazil IGP-M inflation (March), Brazil primary budget balance (Feb.), South Korea industrial production (Feb.), Japan jobless rate (Feb.), Japan inflation (Feb.), Japan retail sales (Feb.), South Africa budget (Feb.), U.K. GDP (fourth quarter, final number), euro-area economic confidence (March), German inflation (March, preliminary number).

-CENTRAL BANKS: Chile meeting minutes.

-EARNINGS: China Construction Bank Corp.; CNOOC Ltd.

-SOVEREIGN RATING UPDATES: Austria (S&P), Azerbaijan (Fitch), Bosnia and Herzegovina (S&P), Denmark (Moody’s), Estonia (Moody’s), Finland (Fitch), Ghana (Fitch), Hungary (S&P), Ireland (DBRS), Israel (S&P), Luxembourg (S&P), Russia (Moody’s), Sweden (S&P), Uganda (Moody’s).


-National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament regional finals begin today. Click for schedule. The tournament’s semifinals, known as the Final Four, are April 5, followed by the championship game on April 7.

Note to our readers: Click on blue ECONOMY headline at bottom of given day for access to Bloomberg’s complete global economic calendar.

To contact the reporters on this story: James Amott in London at +44-20-3216-4206 or jamott@bloomberg.net; Greg Miles in New York at +1-212-617-5877 or gmiles1@bloomberg.net; Stanley James in Hong Kong at +852-29776637 or sjames8@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andy Davidson at +1-212-617-8977 or adavidson@bloomberg.net Nancy Moran

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