Forex Weekly Outlook July 16-20 – Powell, Trump, and Putin

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The US Dollar was on a roll, taking advantage of trade wars and an upbeat economy. The upcoming week features a testimony by Fed Chair Powell, US retail sales, and a meeting between Trump and Putin. Here are the highlights for the next week.

The US is moving forward with preparing new tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. On the other hand, China and the US may enter negotiations. The news sent risk currencies lower and eventually hit other currencies as well. USD/JPY made a big break higher as stock markets outside China weathered the storm. The greenback also enjoyed rising inflation, with Core CPI reaching 2.3% as expected. Powell said he “sleeps well at night” when referring to the economy also helped. The ECB’s meeting minutes were dovish, and the UK saw a political drama. While the UK government opted for a softer version of Brexit, the divisions within the cabinet resulted in the resignations of Boris Johnson and David Davis, two key ministers. The Bank of Canada raised rates and signaled it would do more. However, they are concerned about trade.

Updates:
  1. Chinese GDP: Monday, 2:00. The world’s second-largest economy grew at a steady pace of 6.8% annualized in Q1 2018, within the range set by the authorities. While many doubt the accuracy and integrity of the data that is published so early after the quarter ends, the publication has a significant impact. Any signs that trade is hurting the economy may send shockwaves all over the world. However, it may be too early to see such signs. A growth rate of 6.7% is on the cards for Q2 2018.
  2. Trump-Putin Summit: Monday, European morning. US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will convene in Helsinki for the first designated meeting, after having met only on the sidelines of multilateral conferences. Trump said his meeting with Putin might be the easiest on his European tour, after having clashed with his European counterparts in the NATO Summit and after the G-7 Summit ended without a communique. There are many hot topics at stake: Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the resulting sanctions, suspicions of Russian intervention in the US elections, and many more. Any loosening of sanctions against Russia may be of worry to America’s Western allies but will also open up commercial opportunities and perhaps lead to some easing in global trade tensions, a positive for markets.
  3. US Retail Sales: Monday, 12:30. The US economy is centered around consumption, and this publication always has a significant impact. Retail sales rose nicely in May on all accounts and unleashed a USD rally. More modest rises are on the cards this time. Headline sales are forecast to rise by 0.4% after 0.8% last time, and core retail sales carry expectations for 0.4% after 0.9% previously.
  4. UK jobs report Tuesday, 8:30. Jobs are aplenty, but wages are not rising at a satisfactory pace. The Claimant Count Change is expected to increase by 2.3K in June after a drop of 7.7K in May. Fluctuations in jobless claims are quite frequent. The unemployment rate for May is estimated to have remained steady at 4.2%. Average Hourly Earnings, arguably the most essential data points, carry expectations for another month at 2.5% in May, which is below the inflation rate. Any change in wages will rock the pound.
  5. Jerome Powell testifies Tuesday and Wednesday at 14:00. The Fed Chair goes to Capitol Hill for a two-day testimony in front of different committees of Congress. The prepared statement for the testimony, released on Tuesday, tends to have the biggest impact, but the Q&A sessions can also result in market-moving comments. The Fed is content about the state of the economy with steady job gains for quite some time and rising inflation of late. A total of four rate hikes in 2018 has growing chances. However, officials, including Powell, have raised some concerns about the impact of trade on the economy. Markets will want to hear about inflation and trade more than anything else.
  6. UK inflation report: Wednesday, 8:30. Britain’s Consumer Price Index has been falling of late, contributing to the decision not to raise rates in May. Annual headline CPI fell to 2.4% in May and is now projected to rise to 2.6%. Core CPI is expected to remain stable at 2.1%. The Retail Price Index (RPI) which is also eyed, carries expectations for an increase from 3.3% to 3.5% y/y. Contrary to the US, headline CPI tends to have the most significant impact.
  7. US housing data: Wednesday, 12:30. US Building Permits stood at an annualized rate of 1.30 million in May and are expected to rise to 1.33 million in June. Housing starts carry expectations of going the other way: from 1.35 million to 1.32 million. Both figures will need to go in the same direction to move markets. In some cases, the numbers offset each other.
  8. Australian jobs report: Thursday, 1:30. Australia reported a relatively disappointing increase in jobs back in May: 12K. A bigger gain is on the cards now: 16.6K. The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 5.4%. The publication will have the chance to move the Aussie on domestic affairs after swinging according to the global market moods.
  9. Canadian retail sales and inflation: Friday, 12:30. Canada’s double-feature Friday always move the Canadian Dollar even if the figures offset each other. Headline CPI rose by 0.1% in May, a modest increase. While topline prices may advance at a faster clip in June, core prices may lag behind. These fell by 0.1% in May. Retail sales fell sharply in April: 1.2% and may rebound now. A greater focus will be on core sales, which fell by 0.1% and may see more modest changes now.

*All times are GMT

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Yohay Elam – Founder, Writer and Editor I have been into forex trading for over 5 years, and I share the experience that I have and the knowledge that I’ve accumulated. After taking a short course about forex. Like many forex traders, I’ve earned the significant share of my knowledge the hard way. Macroeconomics, the impact of news on the ever-moving currency markets and trading psychology have always fascinated me. Before founding Forex Crunch, I’ve worked as a programmer in various hi-tech companies. I have a B. Sc. in Computer Science from Ben Gurion University. Given this background, forex software has a relatively bigger share in the posts.