Forex Weekly Outlook April 17-21

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The dollar lost ground in the lead up to the long Easter weekend. Will it continue? A mix of figures from all over the world awaits us now. Join us as we explore the market-movers coming our way.

US data was mixed showing favorable consumer sentiment with disappointing inflation and retail sales figures. The University of Michigan index edged up to 98 in April, beating forecasts for 97.1 points. Current economic conditions index soared to a near all-time high reaching 115.2, while the outlook index increased to 86.9 from 86.5 but remained strongly divided along party lines as 69% of Republicans cited favorable news about employment and economic policies, compared with only 28% among Democrats. Following this upbeat report, inflation and retail sales data were weaker than expected. Consumer prices declined 0.3% in March posting its first fall since February 2016. The main cause for this fall was a steep decline in fuel prices. Core CPI also declined by 0.1% while expected to rise 0.2%. Another disappointment was retail sales falling 0.2% in the month after a previous decline of 0.3% in February. Core sales remained flat while expected to rise 0.2%. Will we see more consistent data in the coming week? Let’s start:

Updates:
  1. Haruhiko Kuroda speaks: Monday, 7:15. BOE Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will speak in Tokyo. In a speech Kuroda made at March 24, he said the Bank would not raise its long-term government debt yield target despite rising pressure from overseas rates. Furthermore, the monetary easing is aimed to achieve the BOJ’s inflation target of 2%. However, expectations that the country’s long-term interest rates will continue to rise are creating some doubts about whether the BOJ can maintain control of the long-term yield.
  2. US Building Permits: Tuesday, 13:30. US building permits declined more than expected in February, down 6.2% to an annual rate of 1.21 million units from 1.29 million units in January.  The reading was below analysts’ expectations of 1.26mn, but was 4.3% higher than the period in 2016. The breakdown showed single-family permits soared to a nine-year high while multi-family permits plunged offsetting the overall figure. Housing starts rose 3.0% to an annual rate of 1.29mn for February from a revised 1.25mn for January. This was the highest reading in four months and there was a 6.2% annual increase. The number of permits is expected to rise to 1.25 million this time.
  3. US Crude Oil Inventories: Wednesday, 15:30. The Energy Information Administration reported a crude oil draw of 2.2 million barrels for the week to April 7, a day after Saudi Arabia announced it was willing to join a production cut. Analysts had expected a moderate drop of 100,000 barrels. Oil prices soared after the U.S. ordered airstrikes against Syrian infrastructure, followed by production outages from Libya’s largest oilfield. The current prices are now at their highest since December.
  4. New Zealand inflation data: Wednesday, 23:45. The consumer price index rose 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2016, beating forecasts for a 0.3% rise. High construction costs, rising energy prices, stronger domestic spending and demand for services from the country’s record number of migrants and tourists pushed up the index. The last increased has placed inflation in the target range of 1 to 3%. Economists expect the RBNZ will not change its monetary policy this year, anticipating a rate hike well into 2018 after inflation will recover toward 2%. CPI is expected to rise 0.8% in the first quarter of 2017.
  5. US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: Thursday, 13:30. Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity weakened from 43.3 in February to 32.8 in March, but still projecting growth. Economists anticipated a larger drop to 30 points. The decline followed an unusually strong in February. New orders inched up to 38.6 in March from 38.0 in February, while the shipments index increased to 32.9 from 28.6. The employment index also expanded to 17.5 in March from 11.1 in February, reaching its highest level since November of 2014. The manufacturing index is expected to decline to 25.6 in April.
  6. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits declined unexpectedly in the week ended April 8, reaching 234,000. The reading suggests the labor market remains robust despite lukewarm job growth in March. Claims have remained below 300,000 for 110 straight weeks the longest stretch since 1970 when the employment market was much smaller. The four-week moving average of claims declined by 3,000 to 247,250, indicating the slowdown in Mach was only temporary. The number of new claims is expected to reach 241,000 this week.

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

*All times are GMT.

Further reading:

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About Author

Anat Dror – Senior Writer

I conceptualize, design and create multi-lingual websites. Apart from the technical work, my projects usually consist of writing content for these sites in English, French and Hebrew.

In the past, I have built, managed and marketed an e-learning center for language studies, including moderating a live community of students.

I’ve also worked as a community organizer

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