The FOMC meeting is the highlight of a busy week, with US figures dominating the scene: home sales, durable goods orders and building permits. Here’s an outlook for the major events in the upcoming week.
Japanese are on holiday on Monday and on Thursday, yet the BOJ will probably follow up on the big intervention to weaken the yen. It will also be interesting to see how the Irish debt issues wind up in the upcoming week.
- US Housing figures: Published Tuesday, 12:30. The housing sector is critical to the US economy. Building permits remained stable at an annual rate of 560K last month – failing to rise. The same level is expected now. Housing starts, which are the next stage after permits, also stalled at 550K and will probably remain unchanged now.
- US rate decision: Tuesday, 18:15. The Federal Reserve is unlikely to be as dramatic as the previous one. Ben Bernanke will probably continue the pledge to support the economic recovery by committing again to keeping the interest rates at a low level for an extended period of time. In addition, the bond buying scheme will probably continue at the same scale.Given the recent better-than-expected NFP, there’s a low chance of seeing more extreme measures such as raising inflation targets, an idea that Bernanke raised in Jackson Hole but took off the table quickly.
- British Inflation Report Hearings: On Wednesday, delayed from last week. After British inflation remained above the target but the employment situation got worse, Mervyn King is in a dilemma. This will be reflected in his appearance in parliament, where the governor of the BoE will speak not only of inflation, but also about the general situation. Given his previous appearances, the Pound is likely to shake during the hearings.
- New Zealand GDP: Wednesday, 22:45. New Zealand enjoyed a full year of economic growth. This is likely to be seen in Q2 as well, but the scale of growth will probably be more modest than Q1’s 0.6% rise. With a higher unemployment rate and a higher interest rate, a weaker growth rate of 0.5% will probably be seen, weakening the kiwi.
- US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 12:30. This weekly release always rocks the markets. Jobless claims are already off the alarming peak recorded in mid-August, yet only a drop under 430K will provided significant evidence of improvement. The current level of 450K will probably remain unchanged.
- Existing Home Sales: Thursday, 14:00. This all-important figure was a bitter disappointment last month, with a 27% drop from the previous month. The housing sector is extremely dependent on government aid and still cannot grow alone. Sales of existing homes will probably bounce off the low annual level of 3.83 million and reach 4.11 million.
- German Ifo Business Climate: Friday, 8:00. This wide survey of 7,000 business usually exceeds expectations and shows optimism, contrary to the ZEW survey which turned negative last week. The Ifo survey will probably remain unchanged at 106.7 it reached last week.
- US Durable Goods Orders: Friday, 12:30. Orders of durable goods rose by 0.4% last month, but this was only due to a one time event. Core durable goods orders, which are more closely watched by economists, plunged by 3.7% and hurt the dollar. Orders will probably drop this time, while the core figure will recover.
- US New Home Sales: Friday, 14:00. Similar to existing home sales, also this indicator was disastrous last month, plummeting from 315K to 276K, very low levels. Sales of new homes are small in comparison to existing homes. Nevertheless, the timing of the release, just before markets close, will probably create lots of action.
That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverages on specific currencies, including technical analysis.
- For a broad view of all the week’s major events worldwide, read the USD outlook.
- For EUR/USD, check out the Euro/Dollar forecast.
- For the Japanese yen, read the USD/JPY forecast.
- For GBP/USD (cable), look into the British Pound forecast.
- For the Australian dollar (Aussie), check out the AUD/USD forecast.
- For the New Zealand dollar (kiwi), read the NZD/USD forecast.
- For USD/CAD (loonie), check out the Canadian dollar forecast.
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