Home Forex Weekly Outlook Feb 27-Mar 3
Majors, US Dollar Forecast

Forex Weekly Outlook Feb 27-Mar 3

The dollar went sideways in a mixed week. Durable Goods Orders, GDP data from the US, Australia, and Canada, US Consumer Confidence, Manufacturing PMI, Crude Oil Inventories, Unemployment Claims and rate decision in Canada. These are the main events on forex calendar. Join us as we explore the market movers of this week.

The Fed released its policy meeting minutes from the end of January. The statement was upbeat discussing the possibility of another rate hike as soon as March. Rates were not raised in this meeting due to lack of clarity  around Trump’s policies. Many participants supported to raise rates fairly soon. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said it would be unwise to wait too long before raising rates again. Nevertheless, most analysts expect a rate hike only in May. Moreover, weekly jobless claims stayed low with 244,000 claims reducing the four-week average to the lowest level since 1973. However, the US dollar hit a one-week low after U.S. finance Chief Steven Mnuchin said the new administration will only perform a small portion of the economic reforms Trump declared upon before his election and that the tax reform will probably be delayed until August.  Let’s startÑ

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  1. US Durable Goods Orders: Monday, 13:30. Orders for long lasting products fell unexpectedly 0.4% in December amid a drop in military aircraft category. However demand for non-military equipment such as machinery, electrical gear and communications equipment jumped 0.8% after rising 1.5% in November, indicating businesses were preparing for stronger economic growth in 2017. Excluding transportation equipment the number of orders edged up 0.5% in December. Furthermore, unfilled orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft also rose 0.5%. Durable Goods Orders are expected to climb 1.6% while core orders are expected to gain 0.5%.
  2. US GDP data: Tuesday, 13:30. The U.S. economy expanded more rapidly than initially thought in the third quarter, registering its best performance in two years, with a 3.2% annual rate contrary to the 2.9% rate pace reported earlier. Growth was the strongest since the third quarter of 2014 following 1.4% growth rate in the second quarter. Complementary data ranging from housing to retail sales and manufacturing suggest the economy maintained its momentum early in the fourth quarter. For example, consumer spending edged up 2.8% instead of the 2.1% previously estimated. Business spending increased to restock contributing 0.49% to GDP growth. US GDP growth is expected to reach 2.1% in the fourth quarter.
  3. US CB Consumer Confidence: Tuesday, 15:00. The Consumer Confidence declined from a 15-year high of 113.7 in December to 111.8 in January. Economists expected the index to reach 112.6 in January. The lower than expected reading was due to a less optimistic business outlook, employment, and especially expected wage growth. However, consumers remain confident that the economy will continue to expand in the coming months. Consumer moral is expected to register 111.1 in January.
  4. Australian GDP data: Wednesday, 0:30. The Australian economy contracted 0.5% in the third quarter contrary to estimates for a 0.2% growth. This was the first negative reading in more than five years, following a 0.5% gain in the previous quarter. However, analysts expect the economy will rebound in the coming months due to the recent rally in commodity prices. Building activity contracted 3.6% for the quarter and was the largest contributor to the decline in GDP growth. Financial and insurance services, professional scientific and technical services, rental hiring and real estate services and administrative support services also registered lower than expected growth. However agriculture showed a 7.5% gain offsetting the overall growth slump. Economists expect the Australian economy will grow by 0.7% in the fourth quarter.
  5. Canadian rate decision: Wednesday, 15:00. The Bank of Canada kept its overnight rate target at 0.5%, due to global uncertainty, particularly in the United States. Governor Stephen Poloz said the Central Bank was concerned about the U.S. trade policy and its effects on the Canadian economy. Uncertainty remains high making it difficult for the BoC to provide economic projections. The BoC upwardly revised its 2017 GDP outlook to 2.1%, despite the strong Canadian dollar weighing on exporters as well as concerns over US trading policy.
  6. US ISM Manufacturing PMI: Wednesday, 15:00. Economic activity in the manufacturing sector accelerated in January, rising for the 92nd consecutive month to 56 points from 54.7 in the previous month. Analysts expected a reading of 55 points. The new orders index increased by 0.1% percentage points to 60.4, while the employment Index reached 56.1, an after climbing 3.3 percentage points from December. Manufacturing PMI is expected to rise to 56.1 this time.
  7. US Crude Oil Inventories: Wednesday, 15:30.    U.S. crude stocks increased 564,000 barrels in the week to Feb. 17 missing predictions for a 3.5 million barrel rise. Crude imports, however, declined 1.4 million barrels per day, while exports increased 185,000 bpd to a record high of 1.2 million bpd. Crude oil and gasoline inventories soared to record highs in the previous week as refineries cut output amid maintenance and gasoline demand softened. Gasoline demand weakened due to the weather conditions in the West Coast.
  8. Canadian GDP: Thursday, 13:30. The Canadian economy expanded by 0.4% in November, following a 0.3% contraction in the previous month. The main growth contributors were mining, oil and gas, manufacturing and construction. Manufacturing expanded by 0.9% while the service sector gained 0.2%. the reading was broadly in line with market forecast. Economists expect growth in the fourth quarter will exceed the central banks’ projections, but a significant amount of economic slack will still remain. Analysts expect a growth rate of 0.3% in December.
  9. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased slightly more than expected for the week ended Feb. 18, rising 244,000 from 238,000 in the prior week. However, the four-week average of claims fell 4,000 to 241,000, the lowest level since 1973, indicating strong labor market conditions. This was the 103th straight week that claims remained below 300,000. Economists expected new claims rising to 242,000. The number of claims is expected to inch up to 245,000 this week.
  10. US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI: Friday, 15:00. US services sector expanded in January for the 85th consecutive month,  registering 56.5 points compared to 56.6 in the previous month. Analysts expected a higher reading of 57 points. The employment index gained 2 percentage points in January to 54.7.  The prices index edged up 2.9 percentage points 56.1 in December. US services sector is expected to reach 56.6 in February.

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

*All times are GMT.

Further reading:

For the Swiss Franc, see the  USD/CHF forecast

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