Business Lookahead: Spring is in the air

STORY: From a close eye on U.S. jobs, to why the dollar doesn’t have a spring in its step, these are the business and finance stories to watch out for in the days to come.

After weeks of worrying about banks, the U.S. focus turns back to the bigger picture.

Economists expect employment data to show a gain of 240,000 jobs in March.

Anything less could spur bets that the Fed will start cutting rates this year.

The dollar just posted its worst first quarter since 2018, despite safe-haven demand amid the banking crisis.

Now data from Refinitiv suggests fund managers are still shorting the greenback.

And with signs that inflation may be cooling and rates close to peak, traders say it looks like a damp spring for the dollar.

U.S. borrowing costs tumbled in March as the bank worries wiped out bets on more big rate increases.

But bond traders say bet on more turbulence ahead, with prospects for inflation wildly uncertain.

Australia has another rate decision on Tuesday.

But a recent run of tepid data has seen markets price out much chance of another hike.

In fact, some analysts now think a 10-month campaign of monetary tightening may have run its course.

And monthly purchasing managers’ indexes will gauge global economic health.

Investors increasingly think that banking stress - and the credit crunch that could result - mean a hard landing is in store for growth.

Optimists think that could at least mean rate cuts aren’t far away.