The first week of the month is always very busy. We have rate decision in Europe and Britain, and lots of American figures – with the best for last – Non-Farm Payrolls. Here’s an outlook for this week’s major market movers.
EUR/USD struggled with resistance, but eventually kept on swimming in the uptrend channel. Yet again, it enjoyed US weakness rather than European strength. US weakness will probably continue through the next week as well. Let’s start:
- US ISM Manufacturing PMI: Published on Monday at 14:00 GMT. Manufacturing in the US pushed the economy forward, being positive (above 50) in the past 11 months. But also here, a warning sign was seen last month, as this survey of 400 purchasing managers unexpectedly dropped to 56.2 points. Another drop is expected – to 54.3 points.
- Ben Bernanke talks: Starts speaking in Charleston on Monday at 14:15 GMT. In a speech about the the challenges of the economy, the chairman of the Federal Reserve might release an updated opinion about the economy and about the interest rate. Any small hint may rock the markets.
- Australian rate decision: Published on Tuesday at 4:30 GMT. If there were any forecasts for more rate hikes, they were erased as quarterly CPI, published last week, showed that inflation is very tame – no rate hike is necessary in Australia. So, Glenn Stevens is expected to leave the Cash Rate unchanged at 4.5%. The Aussie will rock by the wording of the accompanying rate statement.
- US Personal Spending: Published on Tuesday at 12:30 GMT. Consumer spending could fall for the first time in 9 months. After it rose by only 0.2% last month, and the CB Consumer Confidence was weak, this important gauge will probably rise by only 0.1%, hurting the dollar.
- US Pending Home Sales: Published on Tuesday at 14:00 GMT. The number of homes that were sold but are still awaiting the final transaction dropped by a whopping 30% last month, after a homebuyer tax credit expired. The housing sector is very vulnerable and still very dependent on government support. This time, a correction is expected – this should boost the dollar.
- US ADP Non-Farm Employment Change: Published on Wednesday at 12:15 GMT. The importance of this report for the private sector rose in the past few months, as the decennial census caused big jumps in the Non-Farm Payrolls, and the focus was on the private sector. While this isn’t always a good indicator for the NFP, it always rocks the markets. Last month’s small and disappointing gain of 13K will probably be followed by a higher gain this time – 36K.
- US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI: Published on Wednesday at 14:00 GMT. Similar to the manufacturing PMI, also the services sector is already “over the hill”. Last month’s disappointing drop to 53.8 points is likely to be followed by another drop to 53.3 points, but the score is expected to be above 50 – still showing economic expansion.
- New Zealand employment data: Published on Wednesday at 22:45 GMT. Employment figures always rock currencies. In New Zealand, the effect is stronger, as these numbers are released only once per quarter. The last release was superb – unemployment change jumped by 1%, and the unemployment rate made a steep drop from 7.1% to 6%, boosting both the kiwi and the Aussie. But this quarter won’t be that good – employment is expected to rise by only 0.5% and the unemployment rate is predicted to rise from 6% to 6.2% – still OK..
- British rate decision: Published on Thursday at 11:00 GMT. There’s a chance of a rate hike in Britain. Mervyn King joined other economists by expressing concern about the rising inflation. Britain now enjoys a nice growth rate, and improving unemployment situation. One member wants a hike from 0.50% to 0.75%. Will the rest follow? Even if not, the accompanying MPC Rate Statement will definitely shake the Pound.
- European rate decision: Published on Thursday at 11:45 GMT. In Europe, things aren’t so good. The unemployment rate is still very high, and while Germany is doing well, the rest of the continent is still struggling. Jean-Claude Trichet is expected to leave the European Minimum Bid Rate at 1%. His words regarding growth, employment and the unwinding debt crisis in the ECB Press Conference will rock the Euro.
- US Unemployment Claims: Published on Thursday at 12:30 GMT. As the last hint before the Non-Farm Payrolls, jobless claims will porbably remain similar to last week’s number of 457K. This gauge remained in a narrow range between 440K to 480K in recent months. When it dropped to 429K three weeks ago, this was merely a wrong calculation. Only a big drop will boost the US dollar.
- Canadian employment data: Published on Friday at 11:00 GMT. Contrary to its neighbor from the south, Canada’s job market is steaming hot. A huge gain of 93.2K was reported last month, far better than expected. Also the unemployment rate provided a very pleasant surprise, dropping below 8%. This time, a small gain in jobs is expected, and the unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged.
- US Non-Farm Payrolls: Published on Friday at 12:30 GMT. The monthly circus in forex trading saw a big hangover last month – a drop of 125K jobs. This followed a huge gain in the previous month – related to the census. A loss of 75,000 jobs is expected at the moment. The unemployment rate dropped to 9.5% – this good news is likely to be erased with a return to 9.6% this time. A special preview for this event will be posted later in the week.
That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for specific currency coverages.
- For EUR/USD, check out the Euro/Dollar Forecast.
- For GBP/USD (cable), look into the British Pound forecast.
- For the Australian dollar (Aussie), check out the AUD/USD forecast.
- For the New Zealand dollar (kiwi), read the NZD/USD forecast.
- For USD/CAD (loonie), check out the Canadian dollar forecast.
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