Markets turn focus to economic data as recession eases


mp;rsquo;re likely to see a switch in the market&rsquo;s focus from earnings back to economic reports this week. <br /><br />The Bank of England&rsquo;s quarterly inflation report is arguably the highlight of the week, certainly for UK shares and the pound, with the market keen to interpret for itself the evidence which was sufficiently weak to persuade the Bank to extend its quantitative easing scheme by another &pound;50bn in a surprise move last week. <br /><br />Wednesday&rsquo;s meeting by the Federal Reserve in the States on the other hand is still expected to confirm the consensus view that their equivalent easing policies will not be extended.<br /><br />The decision is especially likely after Friday&rsquo;s much improved US numbers, which suggest that even the lagging indicators now point to a turning point in the recession. <br /><br />UK jobs data on Wednesday are unlikely to paint a similarly rosy picture, with the number of unemployed still very much on the rise, and the number is expected to jump to around 2.5m.<br /><br />Martin Slaney is head of derivatives at online trading firm GFT Global Markets.