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Ben Bernanke, US FOMC Meeting Minutes, Japan Prelim GDP and US Unemployment Claims are some of the major events this week. Let’s review the important market-movers for the next week.

The past week has seen more dollar strength as worries about Greece and fear of contagion to Ireland were quite strong. It seems more likely that Trichet’s “strong dollar” stance on May 5th was indeed a turning point for the dollar.

U.S. Federal Budget Balance deficit decreased dramatically from $188.2B in March to $40.5B in April. Compared to a year ago deficit narrowed by half due to an increase in income tax receipts. Nevertheless US collective deficit swell to $869.9 billion from $799.7 billion a year earlier and government spending increased to $330 billion from $328 billion in April 2010.

  1. Ben Bernanke Speaks: Monday, 14:00. Ben Bernanke is scheduled to speak in Washington DC at an Athena Alliance event on the Job market. He will speak about the central bank’s efforts to boost employment without rising inflation. Will he weaken the dollar again?
  2. US TIC Long-Term Purchases: Monday, 14:00. Foreign purchases have dropped more than expected in February totaling $26.9 billion while $59.4 billion was predicted. An increase in Foreign purchases is expected totaling $57.7billion.
  3. UK CPI: Tuesday, 9:30. UK annual CPI dropped to 4% in March contrary to forecasts claiming unchanged rate of 4.4%. This could be a turning point for the UK inflation sine this is the lowest annual rate since January. This may alter predictions from a BOE a rate hike. A small rise to 4.1% is predicted.
  4. Euro-Zone German ZEW Economic Sentiment: Tuesday, 10:00. German analyst Sentiment plunged in April to 7.6 from 14.1 in March in light of mounting oil prices and the fear of ECB’s tighter monetary policy. Another drop to 4.7 is expected now.
  5. US Building Permits: Tuesday, 13:30. Permits for future building recovered from February’s decline rising to an annual rate of 590,000 units from 530,000. The increase was better than 550,000 predicted but did not change the gloomy housing market situation. The same number of 590,000 permits is forecasted.
  6. UK Claimant Count Change: Wednesday, 9:30. U.K. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits grew by 700 in March from 8,500 in February. This rise was contrary to expectations of 3,500 drop. U.K. Prime Minister  David Cameron plans to cut 300,000 public-sector positions to tighten government budget which may further endanger the job market. The same figure is likely to be maintained.
  7. US FOMC Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 19:00. In the previous FOMC meeting the Feds claimed economic recovery is taking place with progress in the job market and rising inflation.
  8. Japan Prelim GDP: Thursday, 0:50. The Japanese Preliminary Gross Domestic Product dropped 0.3% in the 4Q of 2010 better than expectations of a 0.5% plunge following 1.1% gain in the 3Q of 2010. A further drop of 0.5% is predicted.
  9. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of Americans claiming first time unemployment benefits dropped sharply to 434,000 last week following an unexpected rise to 474,000 in the previous week caused by the Spring Break. Economists expected claims to drop to 430,000. Another decrease   to 421,000 is forecasted.
  10. US Existing Home Sales: Thursday, 15:00. The number of previously owned homes sold in March increased 3.7% to 5.1 million from 4.92 million in February thanks to rising demand for properties under foreclosure. The mounting unemployment increased the amount of houses under foreclosure. An increase to 5.22 million is predicted.
  11. US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: Thursday, 15:00. Manufacturing sentiment in the Philadelphia area plunged in April to 18.5 following 43.4 in February. Analysis predicted Manufacturing sentiment to decrease to 35.5. A small rise to 20.3 is forecasted.
  12. Japan Rate Decision: Friday. The Bank of  Japan  maintained its  monetary  policy and overnight rate in April but reduced its growth forecasts to 0.6% from 1.6% issued three months ago. The BOJ announced that the impact of the devastating earthquake on Japans economic outlook is larger than first anticipated. However Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa did not specify the means it will take to support the economy. Overnight rate is expected to be maintained.

*All times are GMT.

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