The first week of March promises a roller-coaster in the Forex market. The king of indicators, NFP will keep everyone tense up to Friday. Until then, rate decisions in Europe, Britain, Canada and Australia are pumped through the week, as well as GDP from Switzerland, Canada and Australia. There are more major economic releases. Let’s dive into the course of this week. Take a deep breath…
Sunday, March 1st: Traders on the Euro should note the EU Crisis Summit that occurs when the markets are closed. Strong statements there can move the Euro.
Monday, March 2nd: Australian Commodity Prices will be of interest to Aussie traders, since this is a “commodity currency”. Also Japanese Average Cash Earnings can causes moves on the early Asian session.
Then, Britain will dominate the scene with the Halifax HPI, falling as usual (-2.3% expected) and the Manufacturing PMI that is also expected to deteriorate.
Later, Canadian GDP is expected to fall by 0.7, better than other countries, but still bad. In the US, the main figure for Monday is the ISM Manufacturing PMI which is expected to dive to 34 points.
Tuesday, March 3rd: Australian Retail Sales bring a strong start to Tuesday (-0.5%), but this is only a prelude to an interest rate decision. RBA is expected to bring the Cash Rate down by 0.25%, to 3%, still behind in the “Race to Zero”. The RBA Rate Statement will be also closely watched by the market.
Early in the morning, also Switzerland supplies some news: the Swiss GDP is expected to fall by 0.9%.
Also Canada will celebrate a rate cut, probably 0.5% cut to an Overnight Rate of 0.5%, very close to zero. The BOC will issue a Rate Statement to explain its policy.
And the action doesn’t end: American Pending Home Sales are predicted to fall by 3%, after last month surprising rise. At the same time, 15:00 GMT, Ben Bernanke will testify in Washington.
Wednesday, March 4th: Australia to Wednesday as well: the GDP is expected to stay positive (!) and rise by 0.1%, like last quarter.
Later, British Services PMI are expected to crumble to 41.6. Also the Challenger Job Cuts will be watched by cable traders.
In the US, the “foreplay” for the NFP will be published: ADP Non-Farm Employment Change is expected to dive by 620,000, much more than last month’s rather surprising fall of only 522,000.
After Monday’s ISM Manufacturing PMI, Wednesday bring the ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI, and guess what – it’s expected to show a decline as well.
Thursday, March 5th: Australia “wants” to start every day this week, and this time it’s the Building Approvals and the Trade Balance that are very important figures to watch.
But the big cannons are pulled out at noon: The new British Official Bank Rate is expected to be halved to 0.5%, near the end of the “race”. The accompanying MPC Rate Statement will also shed some light on the BoE’s next steps, as the interest rate tool is exhausted in stimulating the dire economy.
Just 45 minutes later, the European Minimum Bid Rate will be published: also here, expect a drop of 0.5% to 1.50%. Trichet is stubborn and “losing” in the race. Due to the bad Unemployment Rate in Europe (8.1%), there is a small chance of surprise here.
As usual on Thursday, American Unemployment Claims are due, and this time, an improvement is predicted, to 641K. It sure is possible after last week’s disappointment.
Friday, March 6th: All eyes will be on the NFP – Non-Farm Employment Change is expected to dive below the 600K mark, to 636,000. Last month was disappointing, with 598,000, and now also expectations have adapted.
A complementary figure is the Unemployment Rate, expected to rise to 7.9%, but a figure above 8% won’t come as surprise.
These are the main economic events expected at the first week of March. There are lots of other events, that I’ll cover during the week. Stay tuned!