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After the Non-Farm Payrolls, another busy week expects forex traders. A British rate decision, European GDP figures, and American consumer sentiment and retail sales are among the major events this week. Let’s see what’s expecting us.

Echoes from the British general election will continue to accompany us, but the important British indicators will slowly take over the scene. In Europe, the never-ending debt issues will also have a strong impact. OK, let’s start:

  1. British rate decision: Published on Monday 11:00 GMT. This rate decision was delayed due to the elections. There are speculations that Mervyn King can step up his measures, now that the elections are behind us. Inflation is rising. While the chance of raising the Official Bank Rate is very small, a different rate statement regarding future policy could boost the Pound, although this King wants a weak Pound.
  2. Australian Annual Budget Release: Published on Tuesday at 9:30 GMT. The Australian Treasury will present the budget to the parliament and will lay out the economic prospects for the next year. This event is likely to rock the Aussie, as well as the kiwi.
  3. British employment figures: Published on Wednesday at 8:30 GMT. Last month’s Claimant Count Change, the earliest and most important employment figure, continued the positive trend and showed a drop of over 32,000 unemployed people. On the other hand, the unemployment rate jumped to 7.8%. A setback can be seen now, and this might hurt the Pound.
  4. German GDP: Published on Wednesday  at 6:00 GMT. Europe’s biggest economy badly disappointed markets in Q4 – the economy stalled. Germany was considered the locomotive of the Euro-zone, carrying the weak economies on its back. Germany must return to growth in Q1’s preliminary release for the Euro to rise.
  5. European Flash GDP: Published on Wednesday at 9:00 GMT. Although being released after the German and French figures, this publication also rocks the Euro. The economies in the Euro zone stalled in Q4 of 2010 – the initial report of 0.4% growth was later revised to no growth at all. There’s fear that Q1 will see a return to contraction – this will definitely hurt the Euro.
  6. British BOE Inflation Report: Published on Wednesday at 9:30 GMT. Two days after the rate decision, Mervyn King has another opportunity to impact currency trading. This report doesn’t cover only inflation – it also contains updated economic forecasts and could hint about future rate policy. King will hold a press conference to accompany the release.
  7. American and Canadian Trade Balance: Published on Wednesday at 12:30 GMT. This double-feature release in both countries always shakes USD/CAD. Canada enjoys a surplus in its balance while the US deficit is growing. A continuation of this trend could help the loonie.
  8. Australian employment data: Published on Thursday at 1:30 GMT. After another rate hike, the sixth since the crisis, employment figures will probably justify this. Australia gained almost 20,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate remained at 5.3%. Both figures are expected to improve.
  9. American Unemployment Claims: Published on Thursday at 12:30 GMT. The first weekly jobless claims release after the Non-Farm Payrolls will probably show a continuation of the trend – slightly less claims.
  10. American Retail Sales: Published on Friday at 12:30 GMT. This important consumer related figure always rocks the markets. Last month saw a strong rise of 1.6% and also Core retail sales exceeded expectations with a rise of 0.6%. Rises this time will probably be weaker.
  11. American Consumer Sentiment: Published on Friday 13:55 GMT. The university of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey fell short of expectations last time – it fell from 73.6 to 69.5, the lowest in 5 months. This is a highly regarded survey, and comes at a sensitive time – just before the market closes.

That’s it for the major events this week.

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