After another wild week and a very surprising rate hike, the last week of February also has its share of big events. Bernanke will continue to dominate the scene with two testimonies and revised GDP in the UK and the US will supply an exciting end to the week. And there are more market moving events. Here’s the weekly outlook.
Ben Bernanke stole the show with a surprising hike of the discount bank rate. This came after the close of the American stock markets but forex trading continues all the time – the dollar leaped. Some currencies took a bigger hit than others. This event will continue to dominate trading on Monday when there aren’t any major releases. Later there are more issues…OK, let’s start the review:
- German Ifo Business Climate: Published on Tuesday at 9:00 GMT. This wide survey of 7,000 businesses has a strong impact on the Euro. Contrary to the ZEW report that is recently weak, this indicator has been rising steadily in the past year, edging up each time. From last month’s 95.8 score, it’s predicted to tick up to 96.3.
- American CB Consumer Confidence: Published on Tuesday at 15:00 GMT. Consumer confidence impacts sales and the whole economy. In the past three months, this indicator rose from the low level it fell to, and also revisions to previous releases have been to the upside. This time, it’s predicted to drop from 55.9 to 55 points. This has a wide impact.
- New Zealand Inflation Expectations: Published on Wednesday at 02:00 GMT. New Zealand has a high interest rate, but expectations for a rate hike like its neighbor Australia haven’t been met. A rate hike depends a lot on prices. This quarterly release will show the direction of inflation and a possible rate hike. Last quarter, expectations rose from 2.3% to 2.6%. Now they are predicted to edge up some more.
- Ben Bernanke testifies: Happens during Wednesday at 15:00 GMT and Thursday at 14:00 GMT. After Bernanke’s shocking mini-rate hike that was made off the main hours, he’ll make his semi-annual report in broad daylight in front of two committees in Washington DC. Although he might use confusing language, his words will shake the markets.
- American New Home Sales: Published on Wednesday at 15:00 GMT and overshadowed by Bernanke. New Home Sales took a big dive two months ago and showed everybody that the housing sector depends on government aid. It hasn’t returned to previous levels. From 342K, sales are predicted to edge up to 350K this time.
- American Durable Goods Orders: Published on Thursday at 13:30 GMT. Orders have been revised to the upside in the past month, from 0.3% to 1%. Also Core orders have been revised to 1.4%. The positive trend is expected to continue, with a rise a rise of 1.6% in orders and 1.2% in core orders. This figure doesn’t touch the consumers, but has a long term impact on the economy.
- American Unemployment Claims: Published on Thursday at 13:30 GMT and overshadowed by goods orders. The American job market is still fragile, and the number of claims refuses to leave the area it is in in the past months. Last week’s 473K is predicted to be followed by 466K this time. A number under 430K or above 480K will shake the markets.
- British Revised GDP: Published on Friday at 9:30 GMT. Did Britain really return to growth? That’s a big question. The initial release for Q4 finally showed growth – but only 0.1%. Expectations are optimistic and a revision to 0.2% is expected. According to the unofficial NIESR GDP estimate, the economy did grow by only 0.1%. A drop to 0% growth or another quarter of contraction will be devastating for the Pound.
- Swiss KOF Economic Barometer: Published on Friday at 10:30 GMT. This indicator, locally called Konjunkturbarometer, is an important composite index that usually reflects the situation of the Swiss economy quite well, and has a strong impact. From 1.77 points it’s predicted to rise to 1.77 points this time.
- American Prelim GDP: Published on Friday at 13:30 GMT. The best is kept almost for last. There were many doubts about the rapid American growth that was reported in the first release. The second release is predicted to show only a small downward revision: from 5.7% to 5.6% in Q4 of 2010. The markets will surely shake with this release. A long term rise in the dollar’s value cannot happen without an improvement in jobs as well.
- American Existing Home Sales: Published on Friday at 15:00 GMT. This release will be somewhat overshadowed by the GDP publication. Similar to new home sales, this figure, that accounts for more sales, is also volatile and is dependent on government aid. After a drop of 1 million sales last month, stability is expected this time – a tiny rise from 5.45 to 5.51 million
That’s it for the major events of the week.
- For the Euro, read the EUR USD Forecast.
- For GBP/USD, look into the British Pound forecast.
- For the Australian dollar, read the AUD/USD forecast.
- For USD/CAD, check out the Canadian dollar forecast.
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