Tension rises in the forex market as the calendar is very busy today. The highlights are rate decisions in Europe and Britain, plus a busy American calendar. Let’s see what’s awaiting us today.
Tension also comes from a possible resolution to the Greek crisis (although fragile), and the hints towards the big event on Friday: Nonfarm Payrolls, which currently have low expectations. So, let’s start review. Take a deep breath:
After a rate hike and a strong GDP result, Australia receives the last major release today: Trade Balance. Australia’s deficit is predicted to squeeze from 2.25 billion to 1.57 billion, showing a stronger economy.
On the other side of the day, AIG Construction Index will probably remain stable. Only a big surprise will shake the Aussie. For more, read the AUD/USD forecast.
British and European rate decisions
In Europe, the revised version of GDP for Q4 is expected to confirm the very slow growth – 0.1%. This figure usually comes out as expected. So, it will merely be a prelude for the rate decision.
The president of the ECB, Jean-Claude Trichet, is expected to leave the interest rate unchanged at 1%. There’s no reason whatsoever for a surprise, but the announcement of the European Minimum Bid Rate always shakes the markets. In recent days, there are hopes for a bailout program for Greece, so this will probably be the focus of the ECB Press Conference that Trichet will hold.
Also the British interest rate is expected to remain unchanged at 0.5%. But BOE governor Mervyn King can hurt sterling in another way. Along with the Official Bank Rate, also the fate of the Quantitative Easing program will be set. This program, also called Asset Purchase Facility, is meant to increase liquidity by buying bonds – spilling pounds. The program ran out of money, but King didn’t rule out renewing it. He isn’t expected to do it, but a surprise sure is possible.
It’s also important to notice the exact wording of the MPC Rate Statement, which may indicate future policy about the interest rate (probably nothing) or the QE program.
For more on the beaten British Pound, read the GBP/USD forecast.
Canadian strength to continue?
In Canada, after the growth rate was better than expected and the wording of the rate statement was OK, two major releases are due today. Building Permits are expected to rise by 1% after a 2.4% jump last time.
The second moving event for the loonie is Ivey PMI, which is predicted to rise from 50.8 to 56 points, recovering from a drop last month.
Towards the end of the day, the Canadian government will release the Annual Budget Release. This will cause lots of volatility for the Canadian dollar. Traders will check out the wording of the economic forecasts that are part of the budget.
USD/CAD made a break below the 1.04 level, and is now range-trading between 1.02 and 1.04. For more on the lonie, read the Canadian dollar forecast.
Busy American calendar
In the US, ADP Non-Farm Payrolls showed a loss of 20K jobs, within expectations. Today we have the last job indicator before the NFP – Unemployment Claims. They’re expected to drop to 472K after jumping to 496K last week.
Pending Home Sales are predicted to rise by 1.4%, following last month’s 1% rise – a continuation of the positive and steady trend. At the same time, Factory Orders are expected to make the same upwards move. Both indicators should push the dollar higher.
Apart from economic indicators, we also have two speeches from FOMC member James Bullard. He had a role in easing the effect of Bernanke’s mini-rate hike.
That’s it for today. Happy forex trading!
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