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The US dollar reversed its losses as QE3 is closer to the back burner and Greece is still wallowing in the mire. A long list of heavyweight US figures leading to the Non-Farm Payrolls, 5 rate decisions (including the euro-zone) and a possible decision on Greece all await us on this very busy week. Here is an outlook on the main market-movers ahead.

Last week brought encouraging news for the USD with Bernanke  acknowledging  employment improvement and an  upside revision for US GDP. The chances for QE3 are lower. In Europe, leaders decided to delay the final green light for Greece. 5 things could turn it into a red light. Will this turn into a red light? The clock is ticking towards a Greek default. Let’s start:

  1. US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI: Monday, 15:00. The US service sector continued to expand last month climbing to 56.8 in January from 53.2 in December. The reading bit expectations for a 53.2 reading suggesting an ongoing improvement in the US economy. A small decline to 56.3 is expected now.
  2. Australian rate decision: Tuesday, 3:30. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept the cash rate at 4.25% in its February board meeting. Economists expected a quarter of a percentage rate cut but RBA Governor Glenn Stevens stated that despite the uncertainty in the Euro-Zone, Australian economy is on a growth trend therefore the board has decided to keep rates unchanged. No change is expected.
  3. Australian GDP: Wednesday, 0:30. Gross domestic product expanded 1% in the third quarter above the 0.8% increase predicted following a revised 1.4% growth in the second quarter. Domestic economy is on a growth trend although Australiaâ € ™s government downgraded its forecast  for real GDP growth next year to 3.25% in light of global uncertainty. However for now, things look good for the Australian market. A growth of 0.7% is predicted.
  4. US ADP Non-Farm Employment Change: Wednesday, 13:15. Private-sector employment added 170,000 jobs in January after a revised 292,000 increase in December indicating the job market is getting stronger. 201K
  5. New Zealand rate decision: Wednesday, 20:00. New Zealand  central bank maintained its interest rates at a record low of 2.5% in light of the European debt crisis and a continuing uncertainty around global conditions. However reconstruction work in Canterbury will provide further growth to New Zealand. No change is anticipated.
  6. Australian employment data: Thursday, 0:30 The Australian Job market expanded by 46,300 jobs in January after a 10,000 job addition in December. The number of employed Australians jumped to a record high indicating the job market is in a remarkable position. Meanwhile Unemployment rate edged down to 5.1% from 5.2% in December. Nevertheless economists predict the job market will soften upon recent layoffs in the Banking, manufacturing and airlines sectors. A small increase of 5,200 Jobs and 5.2% unemployment rate is expected now.
  7.  UK rate decision: Thursday 12:00. The BOE left its interest rate at 0.5%, but increased QE program by £50 billion to £325 billion. Members are unlikely to increase the QE unless further deterioration will occur.  No change is anticipated now despite the fact that two members wanted a larger expansion.
  8. Euro-Zone rate decision: Thursday, 12:45. European Central Bank maintained its benchmark rate  at 1%  for the second month following rate cuts in November and December in line with predictions. 2011. ECB President Mario Draghi remarked at the press conference that the Euro-Zone still faces downside risks but the risks are not “substantial” in light of the recent Greece debt settlement. The same rate is expected now.
  9. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of Americans filing initial applications for unemployment benefits continued to decline with the moving average following the same path.  suggesting a further in the labor market with fewer layoffs. However despite the ongoing progress in the job market Unemployment rate is expected to remain elevated in 2012. A small increase to 352,000 is forecasted.
  10. Canadian rate decision: Thursday, 14:00. The Bank of Canada kept its overnight rate at 1.0% in light if the ongoing debt crisis inEurope and global uncertainty. Furthermore, Mark Carney, head of the central bank, cautioned consumers from increasing their bank debts. No change is foreseen. Canada saw a nice end to 2011, with the economy expanding by 0.4%.
  11. Eurogroup conference call: Friday. European leaders decided to wait for the bond swap results and the “final assessment” of Greece’s prior actions before releasing funds to Greece. A conference call is scheduled for Friday to give the final green light. A delay until Monday, March 12th, is certainly possible as well.
  12. Canadian employment data: Friday, 12:00. The Canadian labor market added only 2,300 jobs in January, much lower than the 24,500 increase predicted and following 17,500 job additions in December. Meantime Unemployment rate rose to 7.6% from 7.5% in December with major layoffs in the construction sector. Economists believe the job market condition will remain soft in 2012. An addition of 13,900 jobs with the same unemployment rate of 7.6% is predicted now.
  13. US Non-Farm Employment Change: Friday, 13:30. Nonfarm payrolls jumped by 243,000 new jobs in January, the highest growth in almost three years, following 203,000 in the previous month. The reading was way above the 150,000 addition predicted by analysts suggesting growth and expansion in the US economy. Economists predict further growth until winter 2012. An increase of 207,000 non farm jobs is forecasted.
  14. US Unemployment rate: Friday, 13:30. Accompanying the remarkable 243,000 job addition in January, the unemployment rate ticked down to 8.3% from 8.6% in December continuing to surprise analysts indicating a growth trend in the job market. No change is expected now.  QE3 already has low chances. A good report could convince markets that no QE3 is coming on March 13th.
  15. US Trade Balance:  Friday, 13:30. U.S. trade deficit widened in December to $48.8 billion, from $47.1 billion in November, due to a climb in imports. The reading was close to market expectations of $47.8 billion. However businesses are more optimistic about increasing investment which will lower imports. A small decrease to 48.6 billion is predicted now.

*All times are GMT.

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

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