The US dollar wobbled in the week after Easter, as Trump approches his first hundred days in office. French Presidential Elections, rate decision in Japan and the eurozone, US Durable Goods Orders and GDP data from The UK, the US and Canada stand out in a busy week. These are the major events on forex calendar. Join us as we explore the market-movers for this week.
A suspected terrorist stroke in Paris placing security concerns at the forefront one again. The timing just three days before the first round of the French Presidential Election could change the odds for the major candidates and may swing voters towards the far-Right Front Nationale leader Marine Le Pen who has been losing steam in recent days. The pound jumped on the announcement regarding the snap UK elections on hopes for a softer Brexit. Let’s start:Updates:
- French Presidential Election: Sunday. French election will be performed in two rounds; the first on Sunday and the second round will take place on May 7. The recent shooting in Paris which killed one policeman resurfaced the issue of France’s fight against terror. Voters will cast ballots in the first round on Sunday. This election is highly unpredictable as the gap between four frontrunners narrows. Here are four scenarios for trading EUR/USD. The two candidates who get the most votes will compete in a run-off election on May 7. Here are all the updates regarding the French elections.
- German Ifo Business Climate: Monday, 8:00. German business morale Surged in March to its highest level in nearly six years, suggesting businesses are less concerned about Trump’s new protectionism policy and Germany’s own election issues. German business climate index rose to 112.3 following 111.1 in February. This rise was prompted by improved sentiment in manufacturing, construction and retailing. According to these figures, annual growth is expected to reach 2% this year.
- US CB Consumer Confidence: Tuesday, 14:00. Consumer Confidence in the US edged up to 125.6 in March, reaching the highest level since December 2000, amid positive attitudes towards current conditions. The reading was much higher than economists forecast of 113.9. Business conditions rose to 32.2% from 28.2%. Furthermore, the outlook index was also upbeat, including short-term outlook.
- US Crude Oil Inventories: Wednesday, 14:30. U.S. crude stocks fell 1 million barrels in the week to April 14 as refineries boosted output, but gasoline supplies increased unexpectedly. Analysts expected a bigger draw of 1.5 million barrels. Gasoline stocks edged up by 1.5 million barrels. Despite the decline in Crude stocks, inventories remained stubbornly high.
- Japan rate decision: Thursday. The Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged in March after the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked rates for the second time in three months. The central bank’s decision was in line with market forecast. Rising global protectionist sentiment and expectations for further U.S. rate hikes led Governor Haruhiko Kuroda to continue with the BOJ’s ultra-loose policy of a short-term interest rate target of minus 0.1 and a pledge to guide the 10-year government bond yield at around zero percent via aggressive asset purchases. Kuroda stated that the economy continues to improve modestly, expecting growth to continue in the coming months.
- Eurozone rate decision: Thursday, 11:45, press conference at 12:30. The European Central Bank maintained its stimulus policy in March, intending to do so at least until the end of 2017. However, ECB President Mario Draghi said that the urgency for further easing has faded and deflation is no longer a threat. Germany, Europe’s largest economy called the ECB to reduce its 2.3 trillion euro bond-buying scheme since inflation and growth has strengthened. However Draghi still believes growth risks remain tilted to the downside.
- US Durable Goods Orders: Thursday, 12:30. Orders for long-lasting goods increased more than expected in February, rising 1.7% after a 2.3% increase in the previous month. Economists expected a smaller gain of 1.1%. This was the sixth consecutive rise, indicating rising domestic demand that will broaden US economic growth in the coming months. Meanwhile, core orders excluding transportation equipment edged up 0.4% after a 0.2% increase in January.
- US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 12:30. The number of new job seekers rose in the week to April to 244,000, following 234,000 in the previous week. Analysts expected claims to reach 241,000. Nevertheless, the labor market is nearing full employment, with the unemployment rate at a near 10-year low of 4.5%. The rise in probably due to volatility around this time of the year due to the different timings of spring and Easter holidays. The four-week moving average of claims fell 4,250 to 243,000.
- UK GDP data: Friday, 8:30. The UK economy expanded 0.6% in the final quarter of 2016, beating forecasts of 0.5% rise. Robust consumer spending maintained growth despite the Brexit vote. Nevertheless, many analysts believe a slowdown will occur this year as inflation is estimated to double this year, reducing household spending. The services sector expanded 0.8%, while industrial production remained flat and construction gained 0.1%.
- Canadian GDP data: Friday, 12:30. The Canadian economy started the year with an upbeat GDP report, rising at an annualized rate of 2.3% with a 0.6% gain for the month. The manufacturing sector outperformed in January expanding by 1.9%. The goods and services sectors also thrived. Following this positive report, analysts are revising their estimates for Canadian GDP in the first quarter to 3.5% from 2.7%, predicting an annual growth of 3.5%. However, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz remains cautious saying the risks for the economy still exist in the form of US protectionism and the housing market bubble.
- US GDP data: Friday, 12:30. The U.S. economic growth in the final quarter of 2016, failed to meet expectations, rising 2.1%, with annual growth remaining below 3% for eleven consecutive years. The rate of expansion slowed from 3.5% in the third quarter and was lower than the 2.1% growth expected by analysts. President Donald Trump said he will boost the economy with an aggressive combination of tax cuts, reduced regulations and increase government spending on public projects. However, economists say it will take a while before the results are visible.
That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies
*All times are GMT.
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