Peace on Earth postponed

Hello and welcome to the working week.

In different times the next few days would involve at least an element of calm with the customs and ceremonies for Easter and Passover. This year these events, for which financial markets around the world take a collective break, are coinciding with the three-day Qingming Festival (aka Tomb Sweeping Day) in China and Taiwan, and the Muslim festival of Ramadan. So is it peace on earth? Sadly not.

Firstly, and most obviously, comes the indictment of former US president Donald Trump in New York on Tuesday. The news — both expected and sudden — has thrust the nation into a new era of division. The FT will have it covered. Click here for further background and analysis, including Joshua Chaffin’s excellent profile of the man presiding over the case, Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing are also spiking again, this time over the ongoing tour of the Americas by Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen. It will reach a head on Wednesday when she meets US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California, which has been labelled “another provocation” by Beijing.

It is also set to be another week of industrial unrest. The strikes in Britain this week range from driving examiners to dockyard workers. The news is likely to be both depressingly familiar and tinged with hope of settlements. On the one hand there will be more disruption and threats of further action. However, the government (or rather the chancellor Jeremy Hunt) has now found some money down the back of the Treasury sofa to help settle matters, at least in the public sector. Further details of specific walkouts below.

In France, the unions are overseeing further protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms. This is likely to have much wider consequences for Europeans looking to get away by air for the upcoming Easter holiday weekend as French air traffic controllers join the walkouts — in addition to the disruption of ongoing strikes at Heathrow.

Talking of which, I am taking some time off, not travelling far (thankfully), just shepherding our 16-year-old through the final push of GCSE exam revision — still mildly anxiety-inducing for all concerned. There will be no disruption to the Week Ahead service, however, as I am leaving that duty in the very capable hands of my colleague on FT Edit David Hindley.

Thank you to those who continue to share your thoughts on the Week Ahead. Email me at jonathan.moules@ft.com or if this piece has landed in your inbox as a newsletter, hit reply.

Economic data

It’s a short week for many financial markets, but there will be a steady flow of statistics, notably the Bank of Japan’s first-quarter Tankan manufacturing index, manufacturing and services purchasing managers’ index reports and, on Friday US labour data.

India and Australia’s central banks will consider interest rate changes, with the former expected to raise its Repo rate a further 25 basis points to 6.75 per cent and the latter likely to hold at 3.60 per cent.

Companies

We don’t usually highlight annual meetings on the Week Ahead lists, but then it’s not every week that you get one likely to be as heated as the gathering for Credit Suisse at the Hallenstadion in Zurich on Tuesday.

Expect protests, not just among Credit Suisse shareholders but also Swiss nationals. There is a lot of public anger across the cantons about the failed bank’s rescue deal — listen to the inside story of how that all happened on the FT’s Behind the Money podcast — and opprobrium about the shortcomings of the board and management team that contributed to the company’s downfall. Then, a day later, UBS holds its AGM in Basel.

Elsewhere, it’s thin gruel for earnings news, as you’d expect in the run-up to a long weekend holiday. We’re at the back-end of the results season, so it’s mainly trading updates and production reports.

Key economic and company reports

Here is a more complete list of what to expect in terms of company reports and economic data this week.

Monday

  • Canada, China, EU, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, US: S&P Global/Cips/Caixin final manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) data

  • Japan, Tankan large manufacturing index (AM local time)

  • Turkey, March consumer price index (CPI) and retail price index (RPI) inflation rate data

  • Mark Parker becomes chair of Walt Disney, succeeding Susan Arnold, whose leadership was called into question last year over the company’s handling of former chief executive Bob Chapek’s final months in the job

  • Results: Renew Holdings H1 trading update

Tuesday

  • 100th anniversary of Warner Brothers Pictures, being incorporated by founding brothers Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner

  • Australia, cash-rate target decision

  • Bank of England chief economist Huw Pill gives a speech titled Inflation, Persistence and Monetary Policy at the International Centre for Monetary and Banking Studies in Geneva

  • Credit Suisse holds its annual meeting in Zurich

  • Germany, February trade balance figures

  • South Korea, consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate data

  • Results: Accesso FY, Saga FY

Wednesday

  • Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee’s Silvana Tenreyro part of a panel discussion on co-ordinating monetary, fiscal and financial policy at the Royal Economic Society annual conference in Glasgow

  • France, February industrial production figures

  • Germany, February industrial orders data

  • Israel, financial markets close for Passover

  • Canada, EU, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, US: S&P Global/Cips final services PMI data

  • UBS Group holds its annual meeting in Basel

  • Results: Barry Callebaut H1, Co-operative Group FY, ConAgra Brands Q3, EnQuest FY, Foxconn March sales update, Hilton Food Group FY, Lookers FY, Pirelli FY, RS Group trading update, Sodexo H1, Topps Tiles H1 trading statement, Volvo Cars March sales update

Thursday

  • Canada, March unemployment rate

  • Denmark, Mexico, Norway, Spain and other countries: financial markets closed for Maundy Thursday holiday

  • Germany, industrial production data

  • India, Repurchase rate decision

  • UK, S&P Global/Cips construction PMI data

  • UK, Halifax House Price Index

  • UK, Start of new tax year

  • Results: Ermenegildo Zegna FY, Ferrexpo Q1 production report, Levi Strauss & Co Q1, Robert Walters Q1 trading update, WD-40 Company Q2

Friday

  • Across the world financial markets will be closed for the Good Friday holiday

  • US, Department of Labor employment report

World events

Finally, here is a rundown of other events and milestones this week.

Monday

  • Fiftieth anniversary of Motorola employee Martin Cooper making a call in New York to rival AT&T’s research division Bell Laboratories, widely regarded as the world’s first mobile phone conversation

  • UK, further industrial unrest. More than 1,000 Passport Office workers in the Public and Commercial Services union begin a five-week walkout over pay. PCS members at the British Library resume their strike, joined by British Museum workers later in the week, part of a national campaign by the union over pay, pensions, job security and redundancy terms. Today is also the deadline set by the British Medical Association for the government to make “specific and substantial proposals” to avoid a statutory strike ballot of senior doctors in England. Separately, the National Education Union is expected to announce at its conference the results of its ballot of teachers in England on the government’s latest pay offer, which closed yesterday. The NEU has recommended that members reject it.

  • US, Nasa and the Canadian Space Agency name the four astronauts who will orbit the Moon on the Artemis II mission, the first crewed flight test of the Space Launch System and Orion Spacecraft ahead of a future Moon landing

Tuesday

  • Belgium, foreign ministers from Nato alliance member states gather in Brussels for a meeting chaired by secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg

  • UK, Royal Mail’s new stamp designs with the image of King Charles go on general sale. Stamps with Queen Elizabeth remain valid.

  • US, Donald Trump due to be arraigned in court in New York, the first criminal charges brought against a former president in the country’s history

Wednesday

  • Jewish festival of Passover begins

  • China/Hong Kong/Taiwan: financial markets shut for the three-day Ching Ming festival

  • EU, European Commission to publish its proposed overhaul of the economic bloc’s pharmaceuticals legislation

  • UK, up to 1,500 driving examiners and test centre admin staff at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency resume strike action organised by the PCS union

  • US, Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen meets Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles at the end of a 10-day trip to the Americas. A US venue was chosen over Taipei to avoid further upsetting relations with China. But Beijing has still labelled the get together “another provocation”.

Thursday

  • France, an 11th day of strikes and protests is planned to take place across the country in opposition to the Macron government’s pension reforms

  • UK, Royal Maundy Service at Buckingham Palace, attended by King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, who then distribute small silver coins known as “Maundy money” as symbolic alms to a group of local people

  • US Masters golf tournament begins in Augusta, Georgia

Friday

  • UK, Unite union members who refuel naval ships employed by Serco at Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth begin their weekend strike in a row over rotas

  • US, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch of the Intelsat 40e communications satellite from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida

  • Vatican City, Pope Francis due to preside over the celebration of the Lord’s Passion, part of Good Friday celebrations by western churches

Saturday

  • Japan, Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s term of office ends. Kazuo Ueda will succeed him from tomorrow

  • UK, Old Firm derby in the Scottish Premiership between Celtic and Rangers in Glasgow

Sunday

  • Israel, Palm Sunday procession from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem city centre for Orthodox Holy Week, which culminates next Sunday

  • UK, Church of England begins a 28-day period of prayer leading up to the coronation of King Charles next month

  • Easter Sunday celebrated by the western Christian churches