WEEKAHEAD-View from editors in the Americas

Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:38pm EDT

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 NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) - Following is the view from
editors in the Americas on the top stories for the week ahead:
 Watch Reuters Insider's Week Ahead:
 *Investor to watch for further currency intervention
 *Obama makes swing through Latin America
 *U.S. budget negotiations to continue
 *Reuters Mining and Steel Summit draws CEOs
 The G7's multi-pronged intervention will be watched for
further action. Officials are hoping dollar/yen can push
through medium-term moving averages around 82.35 and 82.60 that
could lead it to at least 83 to reverse flows among model
accounts and other investors and therefore support dollar
buying. Will Treasuries continue to garner support as the
Japanese keep buying dollars or will the fears of inflation
take over again? Stocks seem to have stabilized somewhat, but
the two-day calm takes place in a maelstrom of uncertainty that
could hit the market again; support rests around 1,290 on the
 President Barack Obama travels to Brazil, Chile and El
Salvador in a bid to boost trade ties with Latin America. The
White House is selling the trip as a way to create more U.S.
jobs and improve relations with Brazil, an emerging markets
powerhouse, at a time when China's influence is growing across
much of Latin America. Brazil's new president, Dilma Rousseff,
also wants closer ties with the United States, in part as a
counterbalance to China, but there are still serious trade and
energy disputes between Brazil and the United States. Obama
will look to reassert U.S. influence in Latin America, while
offering a more equal partnership, in a speech in Chile.
 Both chambers of Congress are out next week but senior
lawmakers and the White House will be negotiating behind closed
doors on a spending bill to fund government through Sept 30,
one of the trickiest issues in the whole budget debate.
Republicans want cuts of more than $60 billion, while Democrats
are offering $10 billion. We will look at possible areas of
compromise plus "red lines" for Democrats like an attempt by
Republicans to dry up funding for President Barack Obama's
healthcare reform. The negotiations are also a test of strength
for Tea Party fiscal conservatives, who are pressuring House
Speaker John Boehner to stand fast on steep public spending
 Data next week will underscore the persistent weakness in
the U.S. housing market, weighed down by an excess of supply as
properties fall into foreclosure. The National Association of
Realtors is expected to report on Monday that sales of
previously owned homes declined 4.5 percent to an annual pace
of 5.13 million units in February. In January, pending home
sales -- which lead existing home sales by a month or two --
had dropped 2.8 percent. On Wednesday, a Commerce Department
report is expected to show that sales of new single-family
homes, a smaller segment of the overall market, edged up in
February. Despite the expected gain, the level of sales is seen
holding near historic lows.
 Federal Reserve  officials, silent so far on the economic
impact of Japan's crisis, will likely face questions on how
hard the U.S. and global economies might be hit. After its
meeting on March 15, the Fed offered a relatively upbeat view
of U.S. growth tempered by anxiety about rising prices.
Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks on Wednesday, but his remarks will
focus on community banking. Dallas Fed president and hawk
Richard Fisher speaks about the economic outlook on Tuesday, as
does Cleveland Fed leader Sandra  Pianalto. Fed Governor
Elizabeth Duke speaks on Thursday on how the 2007-2009 economic
crisis affected wealth. Philadelphia's Charles Plosser, a hawk,
Minneapolis Fed head Kocherlakota and Atlanta Fed president
Lockhart  all speak on Friday.
 After a sizzling rally that has taken metals prices to a
series of historical peaks, the Reuters Mining and Steel Summit
aims to answer the question  "What next?" for investors already
wary about the future. Top guests include Cameco (CCO.TO) CEO
Gerald Grandey, whose company's shares have plunged since the
Japan nuclear crisis. Other top guests at the summit include
Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) CEO Aaron Regent and Molycorp (MCP.N) CEO
Mark Smith. With base metal and precious metal prices near
record levels, the summit will focus on outlook and how that's
affected by the Japan quake, M&A, rising cost trends and other
 Both Research In Motion RIM.TO and Oracle ORCL.O will
report quarterly results on Thursday, giving investors a sense
of the strength of tech demand. While most analysts expect
another solid quarter for the BlackBerry maker, most eyes are
on a RIM upcoming product -- the PlayBook tablet - and whether
the disruptions in the global supply chain due to the Japan
quake will affect launch or sales. Japan will also be a hot
topic at the annual CTIA U.S. wireless show in Orlando,
Florida, which kicks off on Tuesday. Other topics will range
from the race to offer high-quality, high-speed wireless
services to the heated battle among carriers for the hottest
consumer devices.
 Political issues will dominate the Canadian news agenda
next week, with the government's 2011 budget due for release
around 4 p.m. EDT/2000 GMT on Tuesday, parliamentary debates on
the budget during the week and two likely confidence votes on
the government in Parliament on Friday. If Canada's three
opposition parties vote against the government in one of those
two votes, the minority Conservative government falls and there
will be a new election, probably in early May.
 The highlight for Canadian markets next week will be the
budget on Tuesday, which may show Ottawa is cutting its deficit
ahead of schedule. But the entire exercise could be rendered
moot if opposition parties combine to topple the minority
Conservative government and trigger an election. Investors are
taking a surprisingly sanguine view of that prospect, noting
that the Tories and opposition Liberals both have strong
deficit fighting credentials. With this in mind, Japan's
nuclear crisis and unrest in the Middle East and North Africa
could still set the tone for stock, bond and currency markets.
 Haiti has a presidential election run-off on Sunday, but it
is already being overshadowed by the return from exile of fiery
former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He is a popular but
divisive figure, and the United States fears his presence in
Haiti could destabilize politics in the coming days and weeks,
just as the new president will be elected and will need to lead
troubled efforts to rebuild the country after last year's
earthquake. The election is between popular musician Michel
Martelly and opposition matriarch Mirlande Manigat. Both are
seen as center-rightists, and the main differences are ones of
personality: Martelly is a brash musician with little political
experience while Manigat is a soft-spoken, experienced former
first lady.
 U.S. baseball's home run king, Barry Bonds, faces off
against former teammates and an ex-girlfriend expected to
testify about his sexual performance in a trial next week over
whether he lied about taking steroids. A high point - or maybe
a low point - is expected to come from a sparring match between
Kimberly Bell, Bonds' Playboy magazine-posing mistress, and
defense lawyer Cristina Arguedas.  Prosecutors want Bell to
discuss the size of Bonds' testicles and his temper, which they
say point to use of performance-enhancing drugs. Court filings
suggest the defense will attempt to use Bell's "rich sexual
history" to provide an alternate explanation for Bonds'
TAKE A LOOK-Five world markets themes next week [MKT/THEMES]
Weekahead Europe [WKAHEAD/EM]     Weekahead Asia [WKAHEAD/A]
Economic events [M/DIARY]          Company news [GLO/EQUITY]
For all diaries [DIA]

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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