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Worrying signs from Europe switched to worrying signs from the US, and shook the markets in the past week. The upcoming week will see Ben Bernanke’s speech, FOMC Meeting Minutes, US retail sales and US Inflation data as the top events . Here is an outlook on the important events ahead.

Last week the private sector report by ADP revealed a surprising climb of 157,000 new jobs way beyond the 67,000 posts predicted. This good news was topped by a positive decrease in the number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits dropping to 418,000 from 432,000 in the prior week and below predictions indicating a strengthening of the American job market. All this wasn’t enough for the Non-Farm Payrolls, which came out with a  disastrous weak gain of only 18,000 jobs.

Let’s Start

  1. Japan rate decision: Tuesday. The  Bank of Japan  left its overnight call rate at a 0.1% by a unanimous vote and continued its loan program, with an additional 500 billion yen lending facility to increase lending to businesses connected with growth.  The same rate is likely to continue.
  2. UK CPI: Tuesday, 8:30. UK Consumer Prices Index remained 4.5% in May Oil and food prices are the major contributors of the relatively high inflation rate rising 1.3% from April. CPI is forecasted to remain 4.5%.
  3. US Trade Balance: Tuesday 12:30. Trade balance deficit narrowed from $46.8 billion in March to $43.7 billion in April contrary to predictions of widening the gap to $48.6 billion. This reduction in imports is likely due to Japan’s earthquake and tsunami damaging their manufacturing capacity. An increase to $44.1B is predicted.
  4. US FOMC Meeting Minutes: Tuesday, 18:00. The minutes of the Fed’s meeting in April dealt with the means of ending QE2 and normalizing its monetary policy in light of the strengthening economy. No QE3 was announced in the recent meeting. The agreed objectives are to strive for maximum employment and price stability, . The Fed is likely to raise rates before 2012.
  5. UK Employment data: Wednesday 8:30. The number people claiming unemployment benefits increased dramatically in May by 19,600 from 16,900 in the previous month well above predictions of 7,000 rise. However according to wider ILO there was an 88,000 decrease in the three months to April therefore the overall picture is not decisive. A drop to 15,200 is forecasted now.
  6. Ben Bernanke testifies: Wednesday, 14:00, Thursday, 14:00 Ben Bernanke Federal Reserve Chairman is scheduled to before the Senate Banking Committee. His words have a major impact on the market.
  7. New Zealand GDP: Wednesday 22:45. New Zealand’s gross domestic product expanded by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2010 above the 0.1% growth expected. GDP is expected to grow further amid rapid major export markets and improvement of domestic economic conditions. A rise to 0.3% is predicted. See a preview of this event.
  8. US Retail sales: Thursday, 12:30. US retail sales decreased in May after 11 months of increases led by declines in car sales however less than the 0.3% decrease expected. Nevertheless, Core retail sales increased by 0.2% offering hope for recovery in the near future.   Retail sales is expected to be flat while Core prices are predicted to gain 0.1%.
  9. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 12:30. A drop of 14,000 in the number of people filing initial unemployment claims to 418,000 following 432,000 in the prior month and below the 421,000 predicted. The decrease could be explained by the 4th of July holiday. An increase of about 6% is expected this week. A small rise to 422,000 is forecasted now.
  10. US PPI: Thursday, 12:30. Producer price index decreased in May to 0.2% compared to 0.8% increase in April. Gasoline was the main increase factor  rising by 2.7% from April. Core PPI also increased by 0.2% from 0.3% in the previous month. Since consumers’ condition has improved this year which may facilitate rising prices. Producer price index is expected to drop 0.2% while Core PPI is expected to gain 0.2%.
  11. US Inflation data: Friday, 12:30. The US consumer price index increased by 0.2% in May and by 3.44% on a yearly base. Oil prices are the main cause for the CPI rise. CPI is expected to drop by 0.2% and Core CPI is predicted to gain 0.2%.
  12. US Prelim UoM Consumer Sentiment: Friday, 13:55. University of Michigan consumer sentiment index dropped to 71.8 in June from 74.3 in the previous month. The downward trend in the job market could be accounted for the increase in consumer sentiment.   A rise to 72.5 is expected now.


That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies

*All times are GMT.

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