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Japan’s rate decision, German ZEW Economic Sentiment and US retail sales figures are the main evets today. Let’s preview the major market-movers lined up for us.  

In the US, Retail sales value increased 0.1% in December lower than the 0.3% gain predicted following 0.4% rise in the previous month while Core sales unexpectedly declined 0.2% after 0.3% increase in the previous month and a 0.3% rise forecast. Retail sales are expected to rise 0.8% while Core sales are estimated to increase 0.6%.

More in the US, Import prices, an inflation gauge, dropped 0.1% in December after 0.8% rise in November and a flat rate prediction. A rise of 0.3% is expected now.

Later in the US, Business inventories measuring the value of stored goods increased by 0.3% in November while expected to rise by 0.4% and following 0.8% in October indicating better consumer spending. This indicator is expected to rise by 0.4% this time.

Furthermore in the US, Timothy Geithner US Treasury Secretary is scheduled to speak inWashington DC. His words may privies clues to future changes in monetary policy.

Finally in the US, Dennis Lockhart FOMC member is scheduled to speak in Sarasotaher speech may provide information on rate issues and FOMC member John Williams will give a talk inClaremont.

InEurope, German ZEW Economic Sentiment German investor climate jumped in January to -21.6 from-53.8 inDecember suggesting a real improvement in the market. A further rise to -11.6 is expected now.

More inEurope, Industrial Production dropped 0.1% in November better than the 0.32% predicted by analysts and following 0.3% decline in October. A bigger decline of 1.1% is anticipated.

Later in Europe, ZEW Economic Sentiment increased by 21.6 points in January compared to December while economists expected a smaller rise to -48.7. A further climb to -21.1 is expected now.

For more on the Euro, read the  Euro to dollar forecast.

Finally in Europe, French Prelim Non-Farm Payrolls did not add new jobs in the third quarter after 0.2% gain in the second quarter. This reading was much lower than the 0.3% gain anticipated by analysts. A 0.2% rise is predicted now.

InGreat Britain, Consumer Price Index  inflation indicator dropped to 4.2% in December from 4.8% in the prior month in line with predictions. Another decline to 3.6% is predicted.

More in Great Britain, Retail Price Index for households dropped to 4.8% from 5.2% in November and is expected to go down further to 4.1%.

Read more about the Pound in the  GBP/USD forecast.

In Australia, NAB Business Confidence a business conditions survey, increased in December to3 ptsfrom2 inNovember. A similar figure is expected this time.

More in Australia, Westpac Consumer Sentiment A larger survey of about 1,200 responders a consumer spending gauge, soared by 2.4% in January following a 8.3% decline in December. Another increase is expected now.

For more on the Aussie, read the  AUD/USD forecast.

In New Zealand, retail sales jumped by 2.2% in the third quarter after 1.0% gain in the second quarter indicating improvement in NZ economic activity. Another rise of 1.3% is expected now. Meantime Core sales climbed 2.4% in the third quarter much higher than the 0.7% rise anticipated and following 1.1% rise in the second quarter. This time Core sales are predicted to gain 1.1%.

For more about the kiwi, see the NZD/USD forecast.

In Japan, Overnight Call Rate was maintained at the lowest level in January between 0% to 0.10% in light of the global slowdown and the strong yen. BOJ members are expected to keep this rate until Japan’s recovery is stabilized. The monetary policy statement will be released simultaneously followed by the BOJ Press Conference which will specify the reasons for their current rate decision.

Read more about the yen in the USD/JPY forecast.

That’s it for today.

Happy forex trading!