The dollar strengthened significantly as worries from all over the globe took over. Elections in France and Greece, US Trade Balance, jobless claims and Consumer Sentiment are the highlights of this week. Here is an outlook on the main market-movers awaiting us.
The highly anticipated Non-Farm Payrolls came out weak, only 115K jobs gained. Yet this is only part of the story: revisions added 53K and the unemployment rate fell once again. With weakness seen from so many places (Europe, the UK, Australia and New Zealand), the US dollar enjoys a still growing economy and safe haven flows. Will this continue?
- Greek Elections: Sunday. The mainstream, pro-bailout, pro-austerity parties are expected to weaken and lose the absolute majority, leading to negotiations for a shaky right wing government that will try to renegotiate the bailout conditions. This is the scenario with the highest probability. See the 3 scenarios for the Greek elections and the euro. In any case, the coalition negotiations will take quite some time and this will likely cause volatility.
- French Elections, Sunday. Socialist candidate Françios Hollande is expected to win incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy with a small margin. A victory for Hollande will change the current austerity policy in Europe and will hurt the euro in the short term. A surprise victory for Sarkozy will boost the euro in the short term. See the analysis of how this affects Germany.
- Australia employment data: Thursday, 1:30. Australian economy added an impressive 44,000 jobs in March compared to a contraction of 15,400 positions in the previous month. Analysts estimated a rise of 6,000 jobs. The rise can be explained by the recovery in the US market. Meantime, unemployment rate remained 5.2% below the 5.3% predicted by economists. All in all, a positive reading in the Australian job market. Australian job market is expected to contract by 4,200 jobs and unemployment rate is predicted to increase to 5.3%.
- UK rate decision: Thursday, 11:00. The BOE Monetary Policy Committee chose to maintain interest rate at 0.50% without providing any new monetary stimulus as anticipated. The decision came after better than expected economic readings for the first quarter. Official bank rate is expected to remain 0.50%.
- US Trade Balance: Thursday, 12:30. The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in February reaching $46 billion US compared to $52.5 billion in January amid a sharp drop in imports while exports surged to $181.2 billion. Despite the positive tone of narrowing trade balance deficit, the sharp drop in imports can suggest slower growth in the US economy. U.S. trade deficit is expected to widen to $49.8 billion.
- US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 12:30. An unexpected decline in the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits occurred last week, with 365,000 claims compared to 392,000 in the previous week. This encouraging figure may help reduce concerns over the recent slowdown in the job market. Jobless claims is expected to increase reaching 372,000.
- US Federal Budget Balance: Thursday, 18:00. The U.S. federal budget balance decreased its deficit to -198.2 billion from -232.0 billion in February. This reading is better than the -202.5 billion anticipated by analysts. U.S. federal budget balance is expected to turn to a 30.0 billion surplus.
- Canadian employment data: Friday, 12:30. Canada’s economy surprised with a strong job growth of 82,300 jobs in March, the A three year record, decreasing unemployment rate to 7.2% for the first time since September 2011. The impressive job gain occurred amid strong private-sector hiring of full-time positions. These surprisingly good readings are way above the 10,500 job gain anticipated by analysts which will lead to further gains in numerous economic sectors. Another increase of 12,900 is expected while unemployment claims is anticipated to reach 7.3%.
- US PPI : Friday, 12:30. The producer price index for finished goods remained unchanged in March after 0.4% gain in February. This reading was below the 0.3% rise predicted by analysts. However Core PPI increased by 0.3% following 0.2% gain in February. Producer price is predicted to remain unchanged this time.
- US UoM Consumer Sentiment: Friday, 13:55. The preliminary results of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment dropped to75.7 in April after reaching76.2 in March. The reading was below the 76.4 figure initially predicted. The final reading was upwardly revised to 76.4. A small increase to 76.5 is expected now.
*All times are GMT.
That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies
- For EUR/USD, check out the Euro to Dollar forecast.
- For the Japanese yen, read the USD/JPY forecast.
- For GBP/USD (cable), look into the British Pound forecast.
- For the Australian dollar (Aussie), check out the AUD to USD forecast.
- For the New Zealand dollar (kiwi), read the NZD forecast.
- For USD/CAD (loonie), check out the Canadian dollar
- For the Swiss Franc, see the USD/CHF forecast.