The US dollar finished the summer month of August on a firm note. As a new and promising month begins, we have top tier events lined up: Rate decisions in Australia, Canada, Japan, UK and the Euro-zone, and a buildup to the all-important Non-Farm Payrolls publication on Friday await. Check out these events and more, on our weekly outlook.
US GDP for Q2 was revised up to 2.5% indicating the US economy grew stronger than thought, and apart from the growth in inventories, the report is encouraging. Moreover, Jobless claims, another good indicator for the US recovery remained at low levels, indicating fewer layoffs and steady job gains. Is the Fed on course to taper in September? The NFP should provide a big part of the answer. In the euro-zone, Germany showed some signs of weakness for a change, and the tensions around Syria continue to influence markets, boosting safe haven currencies. Let’s StartUpdates:
- Australian rate decision: Tuesday, 4:30. Australia’s central bank cut its cash rate by 0.25% in August to a record low of 2.5%, in line with market expectations. RBA members voted to ease monetary policy further to prevent a downturn following the mining boom era. No change in rates is expected now. All eyes will remain on the statement, especially after the dovish meeting minutes, that kept the pressure on the Aussie.
- US ISM Manufacturing PMI: Thursday, 14:00. The US Manufacturing sector expanded in July reaching a two-year high of 55.4 compared to 50.9 in June. The growth in orders indicated companies are more optimistic about US economy and the strong employment component was encouraging as well. This is also a good sign for the Fed anticipating a pick-up in growth at the second half of 2013. A small drop to 54.2 is forecast.
- Australian GDP: Wednesday, 1:30. Australia’s economy continued expanding in 2013, rising 0.6% following the same gain in the previous quarter. However the growth rate was lower than the 0.8% increase expected. It is hard to anticipate the market reaction to the culmination of the mining investment boom. A gain of 0.6% is anticipated now.
- US Trade Balance: Wednesday, 12:30. The U.S. trade deficit contracted sharply in June to its lowest level in more than 3-1/2 years dropping 22.4% to $34.2 billion amid a 2.5% fall in imports reversing the pick-up in the previous month. Economists expected deficit to narrow only to $43.1 billion in June. Trade deficit is expected to reach -38.6 billion this time.
- Canadian rate decision: Wednesday, 14:00. The Bank of Canada maintained its benchmark interest rate at 1.0% due to sluggish economic growth, weak inflation and lower household spending; however the bank made it clear that its next move will be a rate hike. The BOC reiterated its April forecast expecting inflation to rise to its 2 percent target by mid-2015. No change is forecast, even if signs of Canadian weakness mount.
- Japan rate decision: Thursday. The Bank of Japan did not approve further easing measures in its August meeting, but voted to maintain its minimum low interest rate at 0-0.10%, leaving its asset purchase program unchanged. Despite uncertainty in Europe and in China, Japan’s economy is enjoying a boost from reconstruction activity following last year’s quake, tsunami and nuclear accident. However Japanese exporters are having a rough time due to lackluster demand in foreign markets. In case global economy will not pick-up, the BOJ may miss its target of beginning recovery by September. Rates are expected to remain unchanged. The BOJ is eyeing the results of the sales tax debate.
- UK rate decision: Thursday, 11:00. The UK has seen more and more signs of solid growth in recent months, limiting the scope for additional QE. The announcement of forward guidance is also relatively fresh, and the central bank could leave policy unchanged. After making a policy speech just a week before the rate decision, the MPC is likely to refrain from releasing a statement, and leave the fireworks to the meeting minutes.
- Eurozone rate decision: Thursday, 11:45, press conference at 12:30. The ECB is unlikely to change monetary policy at this point: it would not want to be seen as influencing German elections in any way. The economic situation is better in some economies, especially in Germany, but this recovery is quite fragile. Mario Draghi tends to zig-zag between positive and negative moods in the press conferences. As the previous event was somewhat positive, Draghi could express caution now and perhaps express worries about the relatively high exchange rate of the euro.
- US ADP Non-Farm Employment Change: Thursday, 12:15. ADP release showed the US economy added 200,000 non-farm private jobs in July beating predictions for a 179,000 increase. The three month average of jobs gain edged up. The majority of jobs were created by small and medium sized business, indicating the US economy continues to strengthen.181K
- US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 12:30. The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits remained near a five- year low last week, at 331K, indicating fewer layoffs and steady job gains. However the pace of job creation is not enough to create sustainable growth.330K
- US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI: Thursday, 14:00. The U.S. services sector registered a major improvement in July, soaring to 56 from 52.2 in the prior month, beating market forecast of a 53.2 reading. The new orders index climbed to 57.7 last month from June’s 50.8 reading. 55.2
- Canadian employment data: Friday, 12:30. The Canadian economy shed an unexpected 39,400 number of jobs in July, following a small decline of 400 jobs in the previous month, pushing the jobless rate up to 7.2% in July. The majority of job losses occurred in the public sector were 74,000 jobs were cut. However this decline could be attributed to a drop-off in the summer job market for students. A job gain of 30,200 is expected while unemployment rate is forecast to remain at 7.2%.
- US Non-Farm Payrolls and Unemployment rate: Friday, 12:30. U.S. employers reduced their pace of hiring in July to 162,000 from 184,000 in June, but the jobless rate declined regardless reaching 7.4%. The reading was below market consensus, but overall hiring was steady in recent months which could indicate an improvement in the US job market. However, with two contradicting outcomes it is hard to point which direction would the job market take. US economy is expected to add 181,000 new jobs with n change in unemployment rate.
That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies
*All times are GMT.
- 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 USD/CAD (loonie), check out the Canadian dollar