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Ben Bernanke’s speech in Atlanta, Rate decision in Australia, Japan, U.K. and the Euro-Zone are the major events this week. Here is an outlook on the coming market-movers.

The index of consumer confidence fell to 63.4 in March from a revised 72.0 in February. Analysts expected a decline to 64.9. Rising oil prices together with global uncertainties including Japan’s devastating earthquake on March 11 are the cause for this decline. The same trend is likely to affect April’s figures.

US Non-Farm Payrolls came out better than expected on Friday. While this gave an initial boost to the dollar in the initial reaction, the move didn’t last too long.

  1. Ben Bernanke speaks: Monday, 14:30. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is due to speak at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s 2011 Financial Markets Conference “Navigating the New Financial Landscape,” in Stone Mountain.  He may refer to  the new financial regulatory reforms announced on March 23 aimed to help smaller banks get better support from the government and reducing the advantage of larger banks. His wards have a major effect on the economy. Moreover, Ben Bernanke will start holding regular quarterly media briefings on monetary policy following central bank policy-setting meetings starting April 27.
  2. Australian Rate Decision: Tuesday, 4:30. The Reserve Bank of Australia maintained cash rate at 4.75% in March in light of a strong growth in global markets and especially in the Asian region. Australia’s trade balance is picking up and national income is growing. The rate is expected to remain 4.75%.
  3. US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI: Tuesday, 14:00. Non-manufacturing purchasing manager’s index rose to 59.7 in February, after rising to 59.4 in January slightly above the 59.6 expected. This continued improvement signifies expansion trend in the US market. Another rise to 60.2 is expected now.
  4. US FOMC Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 18:00. FOMC Meeting held in February was optimistic projecting a sustained recovery in real economic activity in the next three years with a gradual increase in real gross domestic. However, by the end of 2013, participants forecast that the unemployment rate would still exceed their estimates of the longer-run unemployment rate.
  5. Australian Employment Data: Thursday, 1:30. Australian employment dropped unexpectedly in February to a seasonally adjusted -10.10K, from 7.70K in the prior month. Analysts had expected Australian employment change to rise 20.8K last month. Australian unemployment remained steady at 5.0% in line with expectations after full time employment rose by 47,600 positions in February after falling by 8,000 in January.24,300 new jobs are expected with the same Unemployment rate of 5.0% is expected now.
  6. Japan‘s Rate decision: Thursday. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) maintained its low rate at 0.10% with no real ability to cut further thanks to thanks to the legacy of the global financial crisis and years of economic deflation. The BOJ also kept its economic assessment unchanged disregarding the gigantic earthquake disaster that will have a broad impact on domestic and foreign economies.
  7. British Rate decision: Thursday. The Bank of England maintained the UK base interest rate at 0.5% for now 2 full years despite rising inflation rapidly consuming the purchasing power of workers and life time accumulated value of savings. Inevitable rate hikes are expected near the second half of 2011. The benchmark rate is not expected to change.
  8. Euro-Zone Rate decision: Thursday, 11:45. The EBC maintained its minimum Bid rate at 1.0% in its last rate decision meeting to prevent inflation in light of rising oil prices. Following the recent turmoil in Japan with the major earthquake catastrophe and nuclear crisis, the ECB may consider raising interest rates. Financial markets fear over the impact of the disaster in Japan and its global effect on the markets. A rate hike of 0.25% is expected reaching 1.25%.
  9. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 12:30. Another drop in the number of Americans filing initial applications for  unemployment strengthens the forecast of a stronger second quarter for the American economy with 388,000 jobless claims from 394,000 in the week before. Jobless benefits were expected to drop to 379,000. A continued decrease to 385,000 is expected now.
  10. Canadian Employment Data: Friday, 11:00. The Canadian economy created a smaller than expected 15,100 new jobs following 69,200 new jobs in the previous month.  Nevertheless the last three months trend is positive showing improvement in the job market. Meanwhile Unemployment Rate was maintained at 7.8% despite the drop to 7.7% forecasted by analysts. An increase in the number of new jobs is expected reaching 32,400 and a decrease in Unemployment rate to 7.7% is predicted.

*All times are GMT.

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