Home Forex Weekly Outlook May 4-8
Majors, US Dollar Forecast

Forex Weekly Outlook May 4-8

The US dollar experienced a very turbulent week, tumbling down and recovering, but not against the euro. Close elections in the UK, an important rate decision in Australia, employment data from New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the all- important US non-Farm Payrolls release are key events.  These are the highlight events on Forex calendar for this week. Here is an outlook on the top events coming our way.

The Federal Reserve downgraded its economic outlook amid soft growth data.   The Fed admitted recent weakness in the first quarter relating it to temporary factors. Inflation will have to climb back to 2% and the job market needs to improve further before a rate hike is announced. However, the Fed believes the US economy will rebound in the second quarter.  Meanwhile, jobless claims released last Thursday, surprised markets with a 34,000 fall in the number of claims nut not all data points impressed.  The biggest winner was the euro, that broke critical resistance and seems unstoppable.  Poor data weighs on the pound towards the elections and central banks weigh on the kiwi and the Aussie.

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  1. Australian rate decision: Tuesday, 4:30. The Reserve Bank of Australia kept its cash rate at 2.25% for the second consecutive month in April, as the majority of policy makers decided against another rate cut. The last rate cut in February was designed to boost growth in non-mining sectors. RBA governor Glenn Stevens notes in his rate statement that further easing measures will be announced in the next few months. No change in rate is expected this time, but there is no 100% consensus.  This means that a rate cut will hit the Aussie, and  another “no cut” is set to boost it.
  2. US Trade Balance: Tuesday, 12:30. The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in February to the lowest level since 2009, reaching $35.4 billion. Economists expected deficit will rise to $41.3 billion. However, the strong dollar, weak global demand and lower crude oil prices probably impacted trade balance in February. Despite the low deficit, economic growth slowed considerably in the first quarter. Exports declined 1.6% to $186.2 billion, the smallest since October 2012, while imports from China fell 18.1%, pushing the politically sensitive U.S.-China trade deficit down 21.2 percent to $22.5 billion. Trade deficit is expected to grow to 39.7 billion in March.
  3. US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI: Tuesday, 14:00. The U.S. non-manufacturing sector continued to expand at a slower pace in March, as service companies increased their export orders. Economists expected Non-Manufacturing PMI to reach 56.6.  The majority of respondents’ were positive about business conditions and the overall economy. The ISM’s new orders index increased to 57.8 in March from 56.7 in February.  The export index jumped to 59.0 from 53.0. The ISM business activity index declined to 57.5 from 59.4 in February and 61.5 in January. Non-manufacturing PMI is expected to reach 56.2 in April.
  4. NZ employment data: Tuesday, 22:45. New Zealand’s employment market expanded 1.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to 0.8% growth in the previous quarter. Economists expected a 0.8% rise in the number of new positions. Despite the bigger than expected job gain, the unemployment rate increased to 5.7% from 5.4% in the third quarter, posting the highest unemployment rate since Q1 2014. Analysts estimate an average of 5.2% in 2015. New Zealand’s employment is expected to grow by 0.7% in the first quarter, while the unemployment rate is forecasted to decline to 5.5%.
  5. US ADP Non-Farm Payrolls: Wednesday, 12:15.  The U.S. private sector registered the smallest job gain in more than a year, adding 189,000 positions in March. The reading was below market forecast of 227,000 jobs and weaker than the 212,000 increase in posted the previous month. Harsh winter, a strong dollar and weaker global demand were partial causes for the disappointing jobs release.  ADP private sector employment is expected to grow by 185,000 in April.
  6. Janet Yellen speaks: Wednesday, 13:15. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will speak in Washington DC. She may speak about the recent FOMC rate decision the state of the job market. Market volatility is expected.
  7. Australian employment data: Thursday, 2:30. Australia’s labor market expanded by 37,000 new jobs in March, pulling the unemployment rate down to 6.1%. The majority of jobs asses were full time positions. Economists expected a lower gain of 14900 positions and forecasted unemployment of 6.3%. Productivity has climbed increasing employers’ demand for workers. Improved job prospects expected to lift household incomes and boost the economy. Australian labor market is forecasted to expand by 3,100 jobs, while the unemployment rate is expected to reach 6.2%.
  8. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 12:30. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment fell last week to the lowest level since 2000, indicating the weakness in the labor market during March was only temporary. The number of initial claims plunged 34,000 a seasonally adjusted 262,000, beating forecasts for 290,000 new claims. The four-week moving average declined l 1,250 to 283,750.
  9. UK  elections: Thursday,  initial results expected late in the US session. After 5 years of a Conservative-LibDem coalition,  incumbent David Cameron boasts an recovering economy while Labour leader Ed Miliband points to deteriorating standards of living. The markets would prefer a Conservative government,  the current coalition or at least an  outright majority for Labour. However, things look much more complicated, with both leading parties expected to fall short of a majority and a hung parliament also on the cards –  an uncertain situation with negative ramifications for the pound. Polls are too close to call, making it an interesting event indeed.
  10. Canadian employment data: Friday, 12:30. The Canadian economy unexpectedly added 28,700 jobs in March, beating forecasts of jobs contraction. The majority of jobs were part-time positions, but employers also cut 28,200 full-time jobs. The main gain was detected in the service sector. RBA Governor Stephen Poloz stated that first quarter growth will be badly affected by the recent oil price collapse. The labor participation rate edged up to 65.9% from 65.7%. The unemployment rate remained at 6.8% while expected to tick up to 6.9%.
  11. US Non-Farm Payrolls: Friday, 12:30. US non-farm payrolls disappointed in March showing job growth of 126,000 positions, far below the 246,000 gain expected by analysts and following 295,000 job addition in February. Meanwhile the unemployment rate remained stable at 5.5% in line with market forecast. The employment-population ratio remained at 59.3%, while the participation rate edged down to 62.7% in March from 62.8% in the prior month. US private sector is expected to gain 231,000 jobs, lowering the unemployment rate to 5.4%.

*All times are GMT.

That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies

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Anat Dror

Anat Dror

Anat Dror Senior Writer I conceptualize, design and create multi-lingual websites. Apart from the technical work, my projects usually consist of writing content for these sites in English, French and Hebrew. In the past, I have built, managed and marketed an e-learning center for language studies, including moderating a live community of students. I've also worked as a community organizer