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American figures dominate the scene on the first day of the last quarter. Unemployment Claims, Pending Home Sales and Ben Bernanke will stand out. There are many other releases today, including two unemployment rate figures. Let’s see what’s up for today:

German Retail Sales started the day with a serious fall of 1.5%, after last month’s gain. Later in Europe, Unemployment Rate is expected to rise from 9.5% to 9.6%. While this figure is published after Germany and France published their figures, this number has a strong impact on policy makers.

In Australia, Commodity Prices showed an annually adjusted fall  of 32.3%. This was deeper than last month. Steady commodity prices aren’t helping the Aussie. But it doesn’t need any help at the moment…

In Switzerland, the day after the SNB intervention brings the SVME PMI, which established its place above 50 and even rose to 54.3 points, much more than expected.

In Britain, Manufacturing PMI is predicted to jump above the crucial 50 mark and rise from 49.7 to 50.2. The Pound is very shaky these day.

In the US, data begins pouring early, with the Challenger Job Cuts. Unemployment Claims are expected to rise from 530K to 532K. This weekly release now serves as another prelude to tomorrow’s NFP.

At the same time, 12:30 GMT,  Personal Spending is  expected  to rise by 1.2%, much more than last month’s 0.2%. The Core PCE Price Index is expected to stay steady and rise by 0.1%.

Half an hour later, Ben Bernanke begins testifying in front of the Financial Services Committee. His words (almost) always move the markets.

A second wave of data is expected at 14:00 GMT. The ISM Manufacturing PMI is expected to push forward, from 52.9 to 53.9 points, settling above 50 points, meaning expansion.

Another major figure released at the same time is Pending Home Sales. After a surprising leap of 3.2% last month, it’s expected to rise by 0.9% this time.

At night, Japan’s strong Yen is expected two important figures: Household Spending is expected to remain almost unchanged, and drop by 0.1%. Last time it fell by 2%. The Japanese Unemployment Rate is predicted to edge upwards from 5.7% to 5.8%.

That’s it for today. Happy forex trading!

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