A mixed and turbulent week saw the dollar going in all directions. Where will it go? UK GDP data, US FOMC Meeting Minutes, and other events stand out. These are the nain eventa on forex calendar for this week. Join us for our weekly outlook on the market movers coming our way.
The upbeat US data released last week showed the economy continues to strengthen. U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in January, rising 0.4% and consumer prices registered their biggest leap in nearly four years gaining 1%. The positive data boosted the odds for another rate hike next month. Manufacturing data also outperformed including the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index soaring to 43.3 from 23.6 in January, exceeding forecasts for 18.5 points. Economists believe the strengthening domestic demand together with firming inflation and a tightening labor market could allow the Fed to raise interest rates at least twice this year. Will this trend continue? Let’s start:Updates:
- UK GDP data: Wednesday, 9:30. The second GDP evaluation for the third quarter of 2016 confirmed earlier estimates of a 0.5% expansion rate. Consumer spending continued to be the main force behind UK’s growth. In addition, exports outweighed imports probably due to the weak pound. But the construction sector remained weak, contracting for two straight quarters. Economists predict growth will slow to 1.4% in 2017 from 2.1% in 2016 as business investment declines and as incomes are contracted by higher living costs. Economists forecast a 0.6% growth rate for the fourth quarter of 2016.
- US Crude Oil Inventories: Wednesday, 15:30. U.S. crude oil stocks surged to 9.5 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 10. The reading missed predictions for a 3.7 million barrels rise. The rise was due to a cutback in refineries output and weaker gasoline demand. However, economists believe demand will strengthen in the coming weeks. Overall demand for gasoline in the last four weeks declined 5.3% year-on-year at 8.43 million barrels per day.
- US FOMC Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 19:00. The minutes from the Federal Reserve rate meeting on December revealed the Fed approved their first 2016 rate hike 2016 following the positive market reactions to Donald Trump’s victory earlier in November. Following the elections, policymakers anticipated a more aggressive growth as Trump plans to spend as much as $1 trillion on infrastructure while cutting taxes and reducing regulations. However, the economic projections remained nearly unchanged rising slightly higher, as the committee indicated that GDP growth would hit 2.1% in 2017 as opposed to the 2% estimate in September.
- US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of Americans who filed claims for unemployment benefits rose by 5,000 to 239,000 in the week from Feb. 5 to Feb. 11. However the number remained at exceedingly low levels indicating the a nearly eight-year-old economic recovery. Economists expected claims to reach 243,000. The four-week average of claims increased by a mere 500 to 245,250, the lowest level in 44 years. Analysts estimate an increase of 242,000 new claims this week.
- Philip Lowe speaks: Thursday, 22:30. RBA Governor Philip Lowe will testify before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, in Sydney. The governor urged the Federal Government to invest more in infrastructure to help boost economic activity amid Australia’s high population growth. Philip Lowe opposes Donald Trump’s policy of trade barriers saying Australia is a country that has benefited greatly from the open international trading system. Philip Lowe said economic conditions are improving and the RBA expects the economy will average about 3% growth over the next few years. Furthermore the governor expects the downtrend from the mining boom to be finished in the coming months.
That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies
*All times are GMT.
- 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.