The US dollar had a rough week in which mostly weak economic data hit the greenback. Can hope for a recovery in Q2 help it or are more falls expected? Inflation data in New Zealand and Australia, US Durable Goods Orders and various central bank speeches are the highlights of this week. Here is an outlook on the top events on Forex calendar.
Most US data disappointed with weaker than expected housing and employment data as well as soft retail sales. Jobless claims rose 12,000 to 294K, building permits came reached 1.04 million while forecasted 1.08 million and housing starts hardly recovered with 0.93 million. Retail sales registered a 0.9% increase, below the 1.1% rise predicted and Core sales gained 0.4% far below the 0.7% expected. However, the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index surprised with 7.5 points vs. 5 in the previous months exceeding forecasts for a 6.5 points reading. Will the US data stabilize this week? Let’s start:Updates:
- New Zealand Inflation data: Sunday, 22:45. Consumer prices in New Zealand declined by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014, amid lower oil and vegetables prices. This was the first decline since the fourth quarter of 2012. Analysts expected rates to remain unchanged and expected an annual growth of 0.9% rather than the 0.8% reported. However, international air fares edged up 7.3%, while domestic air fares expanded 8.3%. Housing costs were also a positive contributor to inflation in the December quarter. Consumer prices are expected to decline once more by 0.2%.
- Stephen Poloz speaks: Monday, 14:05. BOC Governor Stephen Poloz is scheduled to speak in New York. Poloz may talk about the central bank’s decision to keep its key overnight lending rate unchanged and about his bright forecast for Canadian growth despite the current slowdown forced by the oil price collapse.
- Glenn Stevens speaks: Monday, 17:30. RBA Governor Glenn Stevens is expected to speak in New York. He may refer to The RBA’s decision to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.25%, despite talks of a rate cut.
- German ZEW Economic Sentiment: Tuesday, 9:00. German investors’ sentiment remained positive in March, climbing for the fifth time to 54.8 from 53 in February amid rising domestic demand. However concerns about Greece and Ukraine clouded future outlook. Analysts expected a higher figure but predict optimism will grow in the coming months after the fog, surrounding Greece and Ukraine, clears. Investors sentiment is expected to rise to 56.
- Australian inflation data: Wednesday, 1:30. Australian inflation in the last quarter of 2014, rose 0.2% following 0.5% rise reported in Q3. The reading was below expectations reflecting lower prices for transport, due to the ongoing decline in oil prices, as well as for healthcare. Falling fuel prices are the main cause for the tame inflation in the fourth quarter. But Core inflation a more precise measure posted a 0.7% gain reaching an annual 2.3% just above the bottom of the RBA’s 2-3% target range. CPI is forecast to gain 0.1%.
- US Existing Home Sales: Wednesday, 14:00. Sales of existing home are the majority of transactions. After slipping to 4.88 million in February, a rise to 5.04 million is on the cards now. The numbers are annualized.
- US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 12:30. The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment aid increased by 12,000 to 294,000, rising for the second straight week. However, the number of jobless workers is still low. The four-week average, edged up by 250 to 282,750, nearly the same as in the prior week. The total number of Americans seeking aid declined to 2.27 million, the lowest in more than 14 years. The number of claims is expected to reach 90,000 this week.
- New Home Sales: Thursday, 14:00. New home sales form the smaller part of transactions, but their initiation triggers a wide variety of economic activity. Here, a slide is expected from the highs of 539K (annualized) seen in February to 514K now.
- Eurogroup Meetings: Friday. The Eurogroup meetings attended by Finance Ministers from the euro area will be crucial for Greece. Unless a funding agreement is reached, Greece will not get the third aid program from the ECB, resulting in a default. Athens has not received bailout aid since August last year and has been hard pressed to cover payments amid a cash crunch, resorting to measures such as borrowing from state entities to tide it over.
- German Ifo Business Climate: Friday, 8:00. German Ifo business climate edged up to 107.9 in March from 106.8 in February, beating forecast for 107.3. Optimism about current conditions rose as well as six months outlook. Strong growth and low oil prices boosted domestic demand. Ifo economists believe expansion will continue in the coming months.
- US Durable Goods Orders: Friday, 12:30. Orders for long lasting goods declined in February by 1.4% contrary to forecast of 0.3% gain. Meanwhile, core orders fell 0.4% posting the fifth straight monthly decline. The weak figures suggest softening in domestic demand despite growth in employment. However, economists expect growth will increase in the coming months.
*All times are GMT.
That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies
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- For EUR/USD, check out the Euro to Dollar forecast.
- For the Japanese yen, read the USD/JPY forecast.
- For GBP/USD (cable), look into the British Pound forecast.
- For the Australian dollar (Aussie), check out the AUD to USD forecast.
- For USD/CAD (loonie), check out the Canadian dollar
- For the Swiss Franc, see the USD/CHF forecast.