Forex Weekly Outlook Feb. 22-26

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The market mood was generally positive, with the safe haven currencies losing some of their shine. US Consumer Confidence, GDP data in the UK and the US, Durable Goods Orders stand out in the last full week of February. These are the top events on forex calendar. Here is an outlook on the market movers ahead.

Attempts to lift oil prices from the bottom were met with skepticism, but some stabilization from the black gold and from China certainly helps calm things down. US data is clearly improving, the euro is grinding lower and the pound remains bound to the political developments regarding the UK’s EU membership. The specter of more monetary easing from the BOJ remains prevalent. Commodity currencies are more at east. What will see now? Let’s start,

Updates:
  1. German Ifo Business Climate: Tuesday, 9:00. Gemany’s Ifo Business Climate Index fell in January to 107.3 points from 108.6 points in December. Current business condition declined mildly, but remained elevated. However, business expectations deteriorated considerably. Sentiment among German businesses weakened since the start of 2016 raising concerns over the economy’s growth forecast. German business sentiment is expected to decline to 107 this time.
  2. US CB Consumer Confidence: Tuesday, 15:00. Consumer confidence improved in January to a three-month high amid optimistic prospects for labor market growth and personal income. Sentiment edged up to 98.1 from a revised 96.3 in the previous month. Economists forecasted a lower reading of 96.6. The present conditions index remained unchanged at 116.4, labor-market conditions declined slightly and the six months outlook edged up to 85.9 from 83. The majority of responders dismissed recent turbulence in financial markets but upper-income individuals were more concerned about the global economy. US consumer confidence is expected to reach 97.6 in February.
  3. US Crude Oil Inventories: Wednesday, 15:30. U.S. commercial crude stock rose by 2.1 million barrels in the previous week. Crude prices gained 4 cents to $30.70 a barrel after Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to freeze output. However, volatility is still strong and prices may decline strongly in the coming days as the Iranian Oil Minister did not say whether Iran would cap its output.
  4. UK GDP data: Thursday, 9:30. According to the first estimate for Q4, the British economy grew at a nice quarterly rate of 0.5%, better than Q3. This number will likely be confirmed in the first revisions. While changes are usually not seen, any move in GDP moves the pound.
  5. US Durable Goods Orders: Thursday, 13:30. Demand for long-lasting manufactured goods plunged 5.1% in December after declining 3.1% in the prior month. The annual decline in durable-goods orders was the largest since 1992. Civilian aircraft orders were the main force behind the sharp decline, decreasing 29.4%. Furthermore,  even core orders, excluding transportation declined 1.2%, falling 2.6% on a yearly base. Manufacturers faced stiff competition from foreign companies. The Federal Reserve stated that industrial production has declined in 10 of the past 12 months, putting it off nearly 2% from its peak in December 2014. Durable Goods Orders are estimated to rise 2.6% in January, while Core orders are likely to inch up 0.1%.
  6. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly last week, indicating the labor market remained resilient to the latest rate hike move. In light of this positive release, economists do not rule out a second rate hike in March. Initial claims for unemployment benefits declined 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 262,000 last week, the lowest reading since November 2015. Economists anticipated a rise to 275,000 in the week. The four-week moving average fell 8,000 to 273,250. Jobless claims is estimated to reach 271,000 this week.
  7. US GDP data: Friday, 13:30. The fourth quarter saw very poor growth in the US: only 0.7% annualized. The first revision of GDP is expected to show an even slower growth rate of 0.5%. Significant revisions are quite common in US GDP reports. Note that Q4 already looks much better..

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

*All times are GMT.

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Anat Dror – Senior Writer

I conceptualize, design and create multi-lingual websites. Apart from the technical work, my projects usually consist of writing content for these sites in English, French and Hebrew.

In the past, I have built, managed and marketed an e-learning center for language studies, including moderating a live community of students.

I’ve also worked as a community organizer

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