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The pre-holidays week already saw slower trading and no big moves for the greenback. US unemployment claims and consumer confidence are the major events closing 2011.  Here are the main market-movers this week.

Positive US figures released last week suggest careful optimism regarding the current US economic condition with another drop in weekly jobless claims to 364,000 and Consumer sentiment revised up to 67.7 Will this positive trend continue? The delay of the S&P report for the euro-zone to January should provide some relief as well.

  1. US CB Consumer Confidence: Tuesday, 15:00.U.S. consumer confidence soared up in November to 56 after40.9 in October much better than the 43.9 predicted due to the holiday season raising optimism among consumers. Nevertheless the figures remain historically weak. Another rise to 58.5 is predicted.
  2. Swiss  KOF Economic Barometer: Wednesday, 10:30. This is one of the most comprehensive indicators for the economy. This composite index has been falling in the past 6 months, dropping from 2.30 to 0.35 last month. Another slide to 0.25 is expected now and will likely encourage the SNB to defend the floor under 1.20.
  3. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. New claims for unemployment benefits continued to drop last week, reaching a seasonally adjusted 364,000 claims while analysts expected an increase to 389,000. This positive reading came after 368,000 claims in the week before suggesting a real recovery in the US Labor market. Federal Reserve is predicting unemployment rate will range between 8.5% to 8.7% in 2012.A small rise to 370,000 is expected now.
  4. US Pending Home Sales: Thursday, 15:00. The number of home buyers increased sharply in October rising by 10.4% from 4.6% decline in September. The increase may be attributed to the excellent affordability conditions. Nevertheless the number of closed deals is smaller than the potential home sales figures due to financing ad regulation problems. A further increase of 1.4% is predicted.
  5. British  Nationwide HPI: Friday, 7:00. This house price index has shown gains in prices in the past 3 months, in line with other HPIs. The fresh release is expected to print another gain in prices, of 0.3%, reflecting the new resilience of the housing sector.

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

*All times are GMT.

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