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Markets drift ahead of central bank extravaganza

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A look at the day ahead in European and global markets from Ankur Banerjee

After surprise interest rate hikes from the Reserve Bank of Australia and Bank of Canada, investors are a bit nervy heading into a week that brings us three major central banks meetings. (That’s the Fed, ECB and BOJ, for those keeping track).

Last week’s moves have inflamed uncertainty in investor minds about whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will skip or surprise on Wednesday. CME Fedwatch tool showed the probability of the Fed standing still is over 70%, but with inflation data due on Tuesday there may just be a late sting in the tail.

No such surprises are expected from the European Central Bank or Bank of Japan, with markets widely expecting the ECB to hike and stay hawkish, and the BOJ to stick to its ultra-loose monetary policy.

With not a lot on the data calendar, stocks in Asia are muted, while the U.S. dollar is steady. Japan’s Nikkei, though continued its charge, taking its year-to-date gain to 25%, even as the run takes a toll on retail investors.

European stocks might be in for a higher open but volatility is on the cards. The Turkish lira slid to another all-time low early on Monday ahead of Turkey’s April current account data.

Meanwhile, BioNTech will head to court in Germany on Monday to defend itself against a damages lawsuit from a woman alleging side effects from its COVID-19 vaccine, in what market watchers said is the first of potentially hundreds of cases.

In Britain, Crispin Odey, one of the country’s best-known hedge fund managers, will be leaving Odey Asset Management following allegations of sexual misconduct, the firm’s executive committee said on Saturday. He denies the allegations.

Elsewhere, Former Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Sunday she was innocent after being arrested and held for more than seven hours as part of a police probe into the fate of funds for her pro-independence Scottish National Party.

Key developments that could influence markets on Monday:

Economic events: May inflation data for Denmark and Czech Republic; Turkey reports April current account data

(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Singapore; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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