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The US dollar had an excellent week, soaring across the board, most notably against the plunging euro. A rate decision  in New Zealand, Employment figures from Australia and Canada, Retail sales, PPI, Unemployment claims and Consumer sentiment from the US are the top events on FX calendar. Let’s see, in detail, the main market movers for this week.

Yet  another robust reading from the US job market. The all-important NFP release showed a strong gain of 295,000 positions in February while and the jobless rate fell to a 6.5 year low of 5.5%. The disappointment came from slow wage growth. This raises the chances of a rate hike in June. This boosted the dollar across the board.  In the euro-zone, Draghi showed determination on implementing QE, and the euro plunged. The pound followed suit. Elsewhere, an upbeat BOC helped CAD, while no cut from the RBA kept AUD bid. All was lost when the NFP  numbers came in.

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  1. NZ rate decision: Wednesday, 20:00. New Zealand’s central bank decided to keep its benchmark Official Cash Rate at 3.5%. The decision was in line with market forecast, however, the RBNZ maintained a tightening policy bias due to weaker than expected growth but stated that future rate adjustments will depend on economic data.   RBNZ Governor Graeme Wheeler also voiced his concerns about the unjustified strength of the kiwi and its downside risks to exports.  Economists expect the RBNZ will maintain rates this time.
  2. Australian employment data: Thursday, 0:30. Australian labor market contracted by 12,200 positions in January pushing the unemployment rate to its highest level in 13 years reaching 6.4%. Both readings were worse than expected. Analysts forecasted a job loss of 4,700, expecting only a minor rise of 0.1% in the unemployment rate. Full-time employment fell by 28,100 in January and part-time employment was up 15,900. Australian labor market is expected to expand by15,300 while the unemployment rate is predicted to remain at 6.4%.
  3. US Retail sales: Thursday, 12:30. U.S. Retail sales slipped 0.8% in January as consumer spending decreased, suggesting the economy started the first quarter on a weaker note.  Despite cheap gasoline prices, sales did not pick-up. Economists speculate that consumers were using the extra income to reduce debt and boost savings. Retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services plunged 0.9% following a 1.0% slide in the previous month. Retail sales  is expected to gain 0.5%, while Core sales are expected to rise 0.6%.
  4. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 12:30.  More Americans filled applications for unemployment benefits last week as the long winter stalled further progress in US labor market. Jobless claims edged up 7,000 to 320,000, the highest since May 2014. Analysts expected a lower figure of 293,000. However, the rise in the number of applications does not affect the positive trend in the job market. The four-week average of claims increased to 304,750 from 294,500 the week before.  The number of claims is expected to   reach 317,000 this week.
  5. Canadian employment data: Friday, 12:30. The Canadian labor market was boosted by a part-time jobs gain in January, adding 35,400 new positions, well above the 4,700 increase forecasted by analysts. However the report was disappointing since 11,800 full-time positions were lost and the better than expected 6.6% unemployment rate was due to part time job gains. Analysts expect Canadian job figures to decline in the coming months as part-time workers are struggling to find full-time employment and the falling oil prices will also have a negative effect on the labor market. Canadian job market is expected to add 21,300 while the unemployment rate is expected to decline to 6.5%.
  6. US PPI  : Friday, 12:30. U.S. producer prices plunged 0.8%, recording their biggest decline in more than five years due to the ongoing erosion in energy prices. Economists expected a smaller fall of 0.4%. Core prices excluding food, energy, and trade also fell 0.1% after a 0.3% gain in December. Producer prices are predicted to rise 0.2%.
  7. US UoM Consumer Sentiment: Friday, 14:00. Consumer confidence dropped in February to 93.6 after seven months of gains due to a rise in gasoline prices shifting Americans’ optimism about the economy. The preliminary sentiment index declined to 93.6 from the final January reading of 98.1 the highest since 2004. Economists expected a further rise in sentiment to 98.2. Energy an oil related workers were more concerned about their jobs in case of a fall in production. Consumer sentiment is expected to rise to 95.6.

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

*All times are GMT.

In the fresh podcast, we talk about the US economy,  the Australian and Canadian rate decisions, a potential easing in Japan, the widening gap within oil prices and an update on forex brokers after the SNBomb

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