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The week began with a strong start, especially for the British Pound, which was knocked down. Today, more important events are awaiting us with rate decisions in Australia and Canada being in the limelight. Let’s see what’s up for today.

Australian action starts the day: Retail Sales made a nice leap last month, rising by 2.2%, but now they’re expected to rise by only 0.7%. In the housing sector, a disappointment came from last month’s dropping Building Approvals. They’re predicted to rise by 0.8% this time. Now for the main dish:

The Australian central bank is expected to raise the interest rate to 4%. This will be the fourth rate hike since the financial crisis broke out. Australia is the first and only Western country to raise the rates. After a surprising pause last month, Glenn Stevens is expected to resume the moves. Also note the tone of the RBA Rate Statement regarding future moves.

For more on the strong Australian dollar, read the AUD/USD forecast.

In Switzerland, the GDP is expected to rise by 0.4%, more than 0.3% in Q3. This might stop the Swissy’s retreat.

In Britain, Construction PMI is expected to edge up from 48.6 to 48.9 points, still under the critical 50 point mark. Yesterday’s British figures were OK, but the news hurt the Pound.

For more on the Pound’s (low) technical levels, read the GBP/USD forecast.

The Euro is weaker, but hanging on to the critical 1.3423 level, helped by a drop of the unemployment rate below 10%. Today will see the CPI Flash Estimate which is expected to show an annual rise of 1% in prices.

Also note the European producer prices. PPI is expected to jump by 0.7%, significantly more than last month’s 0.1% rise.

For more technical levels, read Casey Stubbs’ latest analysis and for events, check out my EUR/USD forecast.

The Canadian dollar enjoyed an excellent GDP result yesterday: the economy grew by 0.6% in December 2009, and at an annual rate of 5% in Q4. This helped the loonie. And today there’s another test.

The Bank of Canada will probably leave the Overnight Rate  unchanged at 0.25%. The focus will be (as usual) on the BOC Rate Statement. Mark Carney has clearly stated that the timing for raising the rates is June 2010, which is now only three months away. Will he talk about an earlier schedule? It didn’t happen before…

Check out the USD/CAD forecast for technical levels.

That’s it for today. Happy forex trading!

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