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The new quarter began with a very volatile storm in currency trading, but for some pairs, the net change was small. US FOMC Meeting Minutes, US Unemployment claims are the major events this week. Here is an outlook on the major events awaiting us.

Last week Ben Bernanke testified before the Joint Economic Committee in Washington saying that monetary policy is not a panacea for the problems currently faced by the U.S. economy, pointing a finger at the US Government to do its share in promoting a healthy recovery in the market by boosting labor markets, taxation and other regulations.   Will the Government cooperate with the Fed to bail out the US economy from a near recession? The recent Non-Farm Payrolls report was positive for a change.

Let’s Start

  1. US FOMC Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 18:00. We will now get to see the meeting minutes of the highly anticipated September meeting, that decided on the $400 billion Twist. As there were dissenters to this decision once again, their voices, alongside the more dovish voices (QE3 anyone?) will move the markets.
  2. UK employment data: Wednesday, 8:30. Claimant count increased less than predicted in theUK reaching 20,300 in August while analysts expected an increase of 35,000. July’s reading was revised down to 33,700 from 37,100. Meantime Unemployment rate remained steady at 7.9%, broadly in line with expectations. An increase of 24,400 new jobs is expected.
  3. Australian employment data: Thursday, 0:30. Australian economy contracted 9,700 jobs in august with a decrease in full time employees compared to a rise in part time positions. The unemployment rate in Australia increased to 5.3% from 5.1% in July and above the 5.1% predicted by economists indicating a slowdown in the Australian job market. An increase of 10,100 new job is predicted with the same unemployment rate of  5.3%.
  4. US trade balance: Thursday, 12:30. The breach betweenU.S. exports and imports narrowed in July to $44.8 billion better than the $51.1 billion predicted. This reading is also better than the $51.6 billion deficit in June indicating an improvement in the US market. Trade balance deficit is forecasted to increase to -46.2 this time.
  5. US unemployment claims: Thursday, 12:30. The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits increased below expectations, rising modestly to 401,000 from 395,000 in the previous week. Economists expected a larger increase of 411,000. The relatively low reading indicates a certain improvement in the job market conditions. An increase of 407,000 claims is foreasted.
  6. US Federal Budget Balance: Thursday, 18:00. Federal budget deficit widened in August reaching $134.2 billion following $129.4 billion in the previous month and above the 128.4 billion predicted. Ten years ago deficit reached $79.1 billion in August. Deficit is expected to narrow to -$65.0 billion.
  7. US retail sales: Friday, 12:30. Retail sales remained flat following 0.3% increase in the previous month and below predictions of 0.2% rise. Core sales, excluding automobiles, increased by 0.1%, after gaining 0.3% in July. This weak data reflects a real slowdown in theUS economy urging the Fed to increase growth to avoid recession. A rise of 0.5% is predicted now.
  8. US UoM Consumer Sentiment: Friday, 13:55. US consumer confidence climbed to a higher-than-expected 57.8 in September from 55.7 in August although consumer expectations index dropped to 47.0, the lowest level since May 1980, from 47.4. An improvement to 60.2 is forecasted.

The Greek crisis is on suspense after the country “revealed” that they have money until November. The focus moved to the European banks that are in trouble, and to Italy and Spain which were downgraded just before markets closed on Friday.

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

*All times are GMT.

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