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US Housing Data, Euro-Zone Ifo Business Climate, US Unemployment Claims and US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index are the major events this week. Here is a look at the major market movers.

U.S. trade deficit  narrowed in February to $44 billion from $46.3 billion in January as overseas demand for American goods overpowered the rising cost of imported oil. A weaker dollar is making American-made goods cheaper and more attractive for buyers abroad, boosting exports and generating more orders to U.S. This will help balance the increase in consumer demand. Note that trading will be extremely thin on Friday, as most markets celebrate Good Friday.

  1. New Zealand Inflation Rate: Sunday, 23:45. New Zealand consumer prices increased by 2.3% in the fourth quarter of 2010 thanks to 2.5% rise in the goods and services tax on 1 October. This caused inflation to reach 4%. Inflation is expected to drop to more subdued levels in the first quarter of 2011. A drop to 1.0% is expected.
  2. Canadian inflation Rate: Tuesday, 12:00. Inflation in  Canada  was modest in February, removing some pressure from the Bank of  Canada  to start hiking interest rates again soon. On a monthly basis, overall consumer prices rose 0.3 % as in January. The core rate was 0.2 % unchanged from January. Economists predict that the indexes for both categories would rise 0.4 % on a monthly basis. Core CPI is forecasted to gain 0.3% while CPI is expected to surge to 0.7%.
  3. US Building Permits: Tuesday, 13:30. The number of building permits issued in the U.S. dropped unexpectedly in February to a seasonally adjusted 0.52 million from 0.62 million in January. Analysts had expected building permits to rise to 0.57 million. A rise to 0.55 million is predicted.
  4. US Existing Home Sales: Wednesday, 15:00. Sales of existing homes plunged unexpectedly in February to an annual rate of 4.88 million and prices fell to their lowest in nearly nine years. Economists had expected February sales to fall 4.0 percent to a 5.15 million-unit figure. Compared with February last year, sales were down 2.8 percent. An increase to 5.07 million is expected now.
  5. Euro-Zone German Ifo Business Climate: Thursday, 9:00. The Munich-based Ifo think tank issued its business climate index based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 firms German business sentiment fell by 0.2 points to 111.1 less than the 110.6 expected following 111.3 in January. Another drop to 110.9 is forecasted.
  6. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits rose last week to 412,000 a slight retreat from the positive trend seen in the last two months reminding us that the job market is not always steady. This high figure was more than the 379,000 expected by analysts. All in all, there is a downward trend in unemployment,so this reading can be regarded as a one time bump. An improvement is now expected in the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment reaching 398,000.
  7. US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: Thursday, 15:00. Manufacturing activity in Philadelphia advanced unexpectedly to 43.4 in March, the highest level since January 1984 – that’s more than 27 years. This followed 35.9 in the prior month. Analysts had expected the index to fall to 29.9 in March. According to the report, all indicators showed improvement. This includes an improvement in hiring. A decline to 37.2 points in the manufacturing activity is expected.

*All times are GMT.

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