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After one of the wildest weeks that we’ve seen in quite a while, the upcoming week seems more quiet, at least at the beginning. The echoes of the Non-Farm Payrolls will be heard during this time. Later on, some major market moving events are due. Here’s the outlook for the second week of February.

Finance ministers of the G7 nations are meeting in the remote Canadian town of Iqaluit and may release important comments that might impact the opening of the markets. The final remarks by US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are of high importance. He’ll speak more than 24 hours before the markets open, so there will be enough time to digest his words. Let’s review the week’s events:

  1. Swiss Retail Sales: Published on Monday at 8:15 GMT. Switzerland enjoys good fundamentals but the central bank doesn’t like it at all. The SNB intervenes in the markets, but usually this doesn’t have a long lasting effect. This important figure is expected to rise by an annual rate of 1.6%, double of last month’s number. There will action in USD/CHF around this release.
  2. British Inflation Report: Published on Wednesday at 10:30 GMT. This important quarterly event will address the rising inflation in Britain and the central bank’s measures against it. This report, accompanied by a press conference by Mervyn King goes beyond inflation and will deal with the whole economy, which is shaky.
  3. US and Canadian Trade Balance: Published together on Wednesday at 13:30 GMT. This double-feature event always shakes USD/CAD. The American deficit is predicted to squeeze from 36.4 billion to 35.5 billion, while the Canadian trade balance is almost balanced. It’s predicted to stand at 0.1 billion, and could also turn into a surplus.
  4. British NIESR GDP Estimate: Published on Wednesday at 15:00 GMT. After the disappointing official Q4 GDP, we’ll get an initial unofficial glimpse at the British economy in 2010. Last month’s release related to the whole of Q4, and showed a higher number than the official release, but lower than economists’ estimates. The Pound will need a more serious growth to rise.
  5. Ben Bernanke testifies: On Wednesday. Exact time currently unknown. The head of the Federal Reserve will lay out the plans for exiting the crisis, and the emergency measures. During this testimony, he’ll probably provide an updated overview of the American economy.
  6. Australian employment figures: Published on Thursday at 00:30 GMT. Australia enjoys a healthy job market, and it’s predicted to remain rather steady. Australian unemployment rate is predicted to edge up to 5.6% from 5.5% but the employment change is expected o be positive again, showing a rise of 15,000 jobs. This is less than last month’s nice 35,000 job gain.
  7. American Retail Sales: Published on Thursday at 13:30 GMT. Both retail sales and core retails sales disappointed last month with drop of 0.3% and 0.2%. These important consumer-related figures are expected to rise this time by 0.3% each. This release, together with jobless claims, will shake the markets.
  8. American Unemployment Claims: Published on Thursday at 13:30 GMT. This important weekly figure disappoints every week with a number that is higher than expectations. After reaching 480K, economists expect a drop to 455K. This will be the first job figure after the Non-Farm Payrolls.
  9. New Zealand Retail Sales: Published on Thursday at 21:45 GMT. Although more people are unemployed in New Zealand, the consumers continue buying. Both retail and core retail sales have risen by 0.8% last month, and this trend is expected to continue, helping the beaten kiwi dollar.
  10. German GDP: Published on Friday at 7:00 GMT. Europe’s largest economy is the first to release GDP data for Q4. This initial release is expected to show a modest growth rate of 0.3%, much less than 0.7% that was reported in Q3. Germany led the continent with nice growth already in Q2. Now it might lag behind.
  11. European Flash GDP: Published on Friday at 10:00 GMT. 3 hours after the German release, the figure for the whole continent is due. This is expected to be better than the German one, and show a growth rate of 0.4%. This European morning will be very volatile for EUR/USD. Note that French and Italian numbers are also released during this time, something that might add confusion.
  12. American Consumer Sentiment: Published on Friday at 14:55 GMT. The week ends with a strong note – the University of Michigan provides its preliminary consumer sentiment figure, which is doing quite well. After reaching 74.4, it’s predicted to edge up to 75.2 points. This will shake the markets before the weekly close.

These are the major events this week. I’ll later post coverages for specific currencies.

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