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2016 begins with a busy calendar: Canadian employment data, US PMIs, Trade Balance, FOMC Meeting Minutes and employment data culminating with the Non-Farm Payrolls. In addition, liquidity is set to return after the holiday season. These are the highlights opening 2016. Join us as we explore these market-movers.

U.S. consumer confidence edged up to 96.5 from 92.6 in November, beating market forecasts. Current conditions improved from 110.9 to 115.3 and the Expectations Index improved to 83.9 from 80.4 in November. Overall, consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy remains positive. Meanwhile Jobless claims increased 20,000 during the holiday week due to temporary holiday factors. Economists expected a rise of 270,000. Analysts expect a slower pace of job market improvement in 2016 despite the low unemployment rate.  Let’s start,

  1. Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI: Monday, 1:45. This independent report for the Chinese economy has worried investors during 2015, but did recover from the lows.  After hitting 48.6 points in November, a rise to 48.9 is on the cards for December, still below the 50 point mark separating  growth and contraction.
  2. US ISM Manufacturing PMI: Monday, 15:00. The U.S. manufacturing activity plunged in November to its worst levels since June 2009, when the index of national factory activity declined to 48.6 crossing the 50 point line for the first time since November 2012. The previous reading was 50.5. Economists expected the index to rise to 50.6.  The employment section rose to 51.3 from 47.6 in October, new orders fell to 48.9, lowest since August 2012 and the prices paid index fell to 35.5 from 39. A score of 49.1 points is expected now.
  3. US ADP Non-Farm Employment Change: Wednesday, 13:15.  Private sector employment increased by 217,000 jobs in November according to ADP Report.  The reading topped market forecast and followed a 196,000 reading in the previous month. This was the strongest gains in the service sector since June. The increase was mainly driven by a rebound in professional/business service jobs. Job growth remains strong and the pace of job creation is twice that needed to absorb growth in the working age population. 193K is expected now.
  4. US Trade Balance: Wednesday, 13:30. The U.S. trade deficit widened unexpectedly in October amid a fall in exports. The trade gap increased 3.4% to $43.9 billion, resulting from a stronger dollar. September’s trade deficit was revised up to $42.5 billion from the previously reported $40.8 billion. Economists had expected an improvement to $40.6 billion.  Exports fell 1.4% to $184.1 billion, the lowest level since October 2012. Imports slipped 0.6% to $228.0 billion in October. A deficit of 44 billion is expected.
  5. US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI: Wednesday, 15:00. The U.S. service sector reflected  slower business activity in November. The Institute for Supply Management’s non manufacturing purchasing-managers index fell to 55.9 from 59.1 in October. Economists expected the index to fall to 58.1. However, despite this decline,  November’s reading shows the resilience of the domestic services sector. Business activity, new orders and employment components fell by more than 4 points, but still posted readings above 55.
  6. US FOMC Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 19:00. These are the minutes from the historic rate hike decision. The statement showed a unanimous vote, but perhaps the wider array of members wasn’t in full agreement. It will be important to note the sentiment towards further rate hikes in 2016. Currently, 4 hikes are foreseen according to the dot plot, while markets expect far less activity. The Fed decided to put an emphasis on inflation, and we will also learn how worried they  were at the time.
  7. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30.  Initial jobless claims in the U.S. increased by  20,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 287,000. The increase was larger than the 274,000 initially expected.  Meanwhile, the four-week moving average increased by 4,500 claims to 272,500. Continuing jobless claims edged up by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2,198,000. A drop to 271K is predicted now.
  8. Canadian employment data: Friday, 13:30. The Canadian economy shed nearly 36,000  jobs in November after a massive part-time workers hired for the October federal election were dismissed. The job losses, were four times larger than the 10,000 expected raising the unemployment rate   to 7.1%, from 7%  in October. While the economy lost 72,000 part time workers, it also gained 36,000 full-time employees, suggesting the picture is not as bad as it looks. A gain of 10.4K jobs and steady unemployment rate at 7.1% are predicted now.
  9. US Non-Farm Employment Payrolls: Friday, 13:30. The last NFP report showed a 211,000 jobs gain in November, beating forecasts for a 201,000 increase, keeping the unemployment rate steady at 5%. The solid job gain was exactly what the Fed needed to make the call to raise rates on their December meeting. Wages increased 2.3% year-over-year in November a bit lower than the 2.5% rise posted in October showing a growth trend. A gain of 202K jobs is predicted with a steady unemployment rate of 5%. Wages are expected to rise 0.2% m/m once again. While no hike is expected in the January meeting, this feeds into the March decision.

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

*All times are GMT.

Here is our  2016 Financial Markets Guide:

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