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  1. #41
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    Forex Weekly Outlook December 21-25

    The Fed raised rates and the skies didn’t fall. The greenback strengthened against most currencies in the aftermath. US and Canadian GDP data, US Durable Goods Orders and Unemployment claims are the final highlights before Christmas break. Here is an outlook on these major events.


    The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade showing faith in the U.S. economy. The central bank raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point to between 0.25% and 0.50. Policy makers reiterated that the US economy is performing well and is expected to improve further. The labor market advanced considerably reaching an unemployment rate of 5%. Furthermore, inflation is expected to rise over the medium term towards the 2 % target. Fed officials declared that the rate hike was the beginning of a “gradual” tightening cycle. Let’s start,



    1. US Final GDP: Tuesday, 13:30. The US economic growth was revised to the upside in the first revision, but still showed mediocre growth of 2.1% annualized. Economists expect GDP to rise 1.9% in the final read for the third quarter with higher hopes for Q4 that is just about to end.
    2. Canadian GDP: Wednesday, 13:30. Canada’s economy broke a three-month winning streak in September with a 0.5% GDP contraction. The energy sector weighed on output with a 5.5% decline in oil prices, raising concerns over growth in the last quarter of 2015. There were also declines in manufacturing, wholesale trade. Nevertheless, Canadian economy expanded in the third quarter posting a 2.3% growth rate on an annualized basis, following two straight quarters of contraction. However, economists do not expect such strong growth in the fourth quarter.
    3. US Durable Goods Orders: Wednesday, 13:30. Orders for long-lasting products registered solid gain of 3.0% in October following two months of declines. Business investment was the major contributor with a 1.3% rise. Demand for commercial aircraft also increased. Meanwhile, core orders excluding transportation items rose by seasonally adjusted 0.5% in October, beating forecasts for a 0.3% increase. Durable orders are expected to decline 0.6%. while Core orders are predicted to rise 0.1%.
    4. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week from a five-month high of 282,000 to 271,000, suggesting continued improvement in the US labor market. It was the 41st straight week that claims remained below 300,000. This reading backs the Fed rate hike decision made a day earlier. While claims tend to be volatile around the holiday session, the trend continued to point to a robust employment conditions. The four-week moving average of claims slipped 250 to 270,500 last week. The number of jobless claims is expected to reach 270,000 this week.

    That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies
    *All times are GMT.

  2. #42
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    Forex Weekly Outlook January 4-8

    2016 begins with a busy calendar: Canadian employment data, US PMIs, Trade Balance, FOMC Meeting Minutes and employment data culminating with the Non-Farm Payrolls. In addition, liquidity is set to return after the holiday season. These are the highlights opening 2016. Join us as we explore these market-movers.


    U.S. consumer confidence edged up to 96.5 from 92.6 in November, beating market forecasts. Current conditions improved from 110.9 to 115.3 and the Expectations Index improved to 83.9 from 80.4 in November. Overall, consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy remains positive. Meanwhile Jobless claims increased 20,000 during the holiday week due to temporary holiday factors. Economists expected a rise of 270,000. Analysts expect a slower pace of job market improvement in 2016 despite the low unemployment rate. Let’s start,



    1. Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI: Monday, 1:45. This independent report for the Chinese economy has worried investors during 2015, but did recover from the lows. After hitting 48.6 points in November, a rise to 48.9 is on the cards for December, still below the 50 point mark separating growth and contraction.
    2. US ISM Manufacturing PMI: Monday, 15:00. The U.S. manufacturing activity plunged in November to its worst levels since June 2009, when the index of national factory activity declined to 48.6 crossing the 50 point line for the first time since November 2012. The previous reading was 50.5. Economists expected the index to rise to 50.6. The employment section rose to 51.3 from 47.6 in October, new orders fell to 48.9, lowest since August 2012 and the prices paid index fell to 35.5 from 39. A score of 49.1 points is expected now.
    3. US ADP Non-Farm Employment Change: Wednesday, 13:15. Private sector employment increased by 217,000 jobs in November according to ADP Report. The reading topped market forecast and followed a 196,000 reading in the previous month. This was the strongest gains in the service sector since June. The increase was mainly driven by a rebound in professional/business service jobs. Job growth remains strong and the pace of job creation is twice that needed to absorb growth in the working age population. 193K is expected now.
    4. US Trade Balance: Wednesday, 13:30. The U.S. trade deficit widened unexpectedly in October amid a fall in exports. The trade gap increased 3.4% to $43.9 billion, resulting from a stronger dollar. September’s trade deficit was revised up to $42.5 billion from the previously reported $40.8 billion. Economists had expected an improvement to $40.6 billion. Exports fell 1.4% to $184.1 billion, the lowest level since October 2012. Imports slipped 0.6% to $228.0 billion in October. A deficit of 44 billion is expected.
    5. US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI: Wednesday, 15:00. The U.S. service sector reflected slower business activity in November. The Institute for Supply Management’s non manufacturing purchasing-managers index fell to 55.9 from 59.1 in October. Economists expected the index to fall to 58.1. However, despite this decline, November’s reading shows the resilience of the domestic services sector. Business activity, new orders and employment components fell by more than 4 points, but still posted readings above 55.
    6. US FOMC Meeting Minutes: Wednesday, 19:00. These are the minutes from the historic rate hike decision. The statement showed a unanimous vote, but perhaps the wider array of members wasn’t in full agreement. It will be important to note the sentiment towards further rate hikes in 2016. Currently, 4 hikes are foreseen according to the dot plot, while markets expect far less activity. The Fed decided to put an emphasis on inflation, and we will also learn how worried they were at the time.
    7. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. Initial jobless claims in the U.S. increased by 20,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 287,000. The increase was larger than the 274,000 initially expected. Meanwhile, the four-week moving average increased by 4,500 claims to 272,500. Continuing jobless claims edged up by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2,198,000. A drop to 271K is predicted now.
    8. Canadian employment data: Friday, 13:30. The Canadian economy shed nearly 36,000 jobs in November after a massive part-time workers hired for the October federal election were dismissed. The job losses, were four times larger than the 10,000 expected raising the unemployment rate to 7.1%, from 7% in October. While the economy lost 72,000 part time workers, it also gained 36,000 full-time employees, suggesting the picture is not as bad as it looks. A gain of 10.4K jobs and steady unemployment rate at 7.1% are predicted now.
    9. US Non-Farm Employment Payrolls: Friday, 13:30. The last NFP report showed a 211,000 jobs gain in November, beating forecasts for a 201,000 increase, keeping the unemployment rate steady at 5%. The solid job gain was exactly what the Fed needed to make the call to raise rates on their December meeting. Wages increased 2.3% year-over-year in November a bit lower than the 2.5% rise posted in October showing a growth trend. A gain of 202K jobs is predicted with a steady unemployment rate of 5%. Wages are expected to rise 0.2% m/m once again. While no hike is expected in the January meeting, this feeds into the March decision.

    That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies
    *All times are GMT.

  3. #43
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    Forex Weekly Outlook January 11-15

    Markets began 2016 in a sour mood, and this resulted in a “risk off” sentiment”. US Crude Oil Inventories, Australian Employment data, UK rate decision, US Retail sales, Producer prices and Consumer sentiment stand out. These are the highlights of this week. Join us as we explore these forex market-movers.


    The U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls report showed a remarkable job creation of 292,000 during December closing out 2015 with a bang. The only disappointment was in wages, which actually fell slightly, but if job growth continues, wage gain should accelerate according to analysts. This did little to cheer investors, as worries about China, crashing oil prices and various geopolitical fears all triggered worries. This benefits the euro and the yen against the dollar while hurting all the rest. Will this continue? Let’s start:



    1. US Crude Oil Inventories: Wednesday, 15:30. The weekly petroleum report showed U.S. commercial crude inventories contracted by 5.1 million barrels, maintaining a total U.S. commercial crude inventory of 482.3 million barrels. Economists estimated an increase of 700,000 barrels in crude inventories. Total gasoline inventories leaped by 10.6 million barrels last week, moving into the upper half of the five-year average range. WTI tumbled to lows seen in 2004, and this reflects worries not only about high supply, but also low demand.
    2. Australia Employment data: Thursday, 0:30. Australia’s unemployment rate declined to 5.8% in November, amid a whopping job gain of 71,400 positions. The unemployment rate reached a 20 month low. The reading was contrary to analysts’ expectations predicting a loss of 10,000 jobs. The participation rate rose to 65.3% from 65% in October. Full-time employment increased by 41,600, and the number of part-time jobs rose by 29,700. The employment figures showed the strongest two-month period of jobs growth since December 1987 and January 1988. Australian economy is expected to shed 10,300 jobs in December while the unemployment rate is expected to rise to 5.9%.
    3. UK Rate decision: Thursday, 12:00. The Bank of England maintained interest rates at 0.5% amid expectations that inflation will remain subdued after another sharp drop in the oil price and a levelling off in wage growth. Policymakers estimated domestic demand has remained unchanged in November. The central bank noted the UK policy depends only on the inflation outlook and will not be influenced by other central banks actions.
    4. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits declined to 277,000 from more than a five-month high of 287,000. The reading suggests the labor market remains firm despite signs of weakness in economic growth during the fourth quarter. Analysts expected claims to reach 274,000. The four-week moving average of claims dropped 1,250 to 275,750 last week. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims fell 4,000 to 2.22 million. The number of jobless claims is expected to reach 278,000 this week.
    5. US Retail sales: Friday, 13:30. Retail sales increased 0.2% in November after rising 0.1% in the previous month. The reading was in line with market forecast. However, automobile sales were weak falling 0.4% following a 0.3% decline in the prior month. Excluding vehicles, core sales rose a very solid 0.4% beating forecast for a 0.3% rise. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, slowed in September and October. The weakness came despite a tightening labor market, which has started to lift household income.
    6. US PPI: Friday, 13:30. U.S. producer prices edged up 0.3% in November, despite the moderate inflation trend. The reading followed a 0.4% decline in October. Economists forecasted a flat reading. Excluding food and energy categories, core prices increased 0.3% while analysts expected a 0.2% gain. Overall producer prices were down 1.1% in November from a year earlier, the 10th straight year-over-year decline. Core prices were up 0.5% from last year.
    7. US UoM Consumer Sentiment: Friday, 15:00. The University of Michigan’s final reading of December’s consumer sentiment came in at 92.6, higher than a first reading of 91.8 reaching its highest level since July this year. Consumers were more optimistic over their current conditions due to lower inflation, which increased real incomes, however, consumers were less confident about their future situation. Meanwhile, inflation expectations for the next year decreased slightly.

    That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies
    *All times are GMT.

  4. #44
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    Forex Weekly Outlook Jan. 25-29

    Market mood before it became better in a very busy week. Will the Fed and the BOJ go dovish? Apart from these rate decisions, we have GDP data from the US and the UK as well as other key releases . These are the main events on our calendar. Here is an outlook on the main highlights coming our way.


    Worries about Chinese growth and further falls in oil dominated the scene during the week, with a strengthening yen and weaker commodity currencies. For the yen, things turned around on speculation for BOJ action and for the pound, things worsened when Carney came out in a very dovish manner. The euro dropped on Draghi’s dovishness while the Canadian dollar escaped the abyss as the BOC refrained from further stimulus. The mood is improving on promises for central bank action. Will the Fed lend some support as well? Let’s start:



    1. German Ifo Business Climate: Monday, 9:00. German business sentiment declined slightly in December, falling to 108.7 compared to 109 posted in November going below analysts’ predictions of 109.2. The current conditions section reached 112.8, lower than the 113.4 points booked in November amid weakness in external conditions. The outlook index remained unchanged at 104.7, a bit lower than the 105 estimated by economists. However, the German economy continued to grow in the third quarter amid robust domestic consumption, while the ongoing immigration wave also provided a little boost. Business climate is expected to decline further to 108.5 this time.
    2. Draghi speaks: Monday, 18:00. ECB President Mario Draghi will speak in Frankfurt. He may speak about the ECB decision to see a darker picture and may reveal clues about the chances for a change in the monetary policy at the next meeting in March. Market volatility is expected. His words impact not only the euro, but as we’ve seen, the whole market.
    3. Carney speaks: Tuesday, 10:45. BOE Governor Mark Carney will speak in London about the Financial Stability Report. He may explain his objection to raise interest rates despite the Federal reserve move on December 2015. Market volatility is expected. Any mention about the EU referendum and its implications could also move markets.
    4. US CB Consumer Confidence: Tuesday, 15:00. American consumer confidence rose in December amid improving labor market conditions. The index increased to 96.5 in from 92.6 in the previous month, beating expectations for a 93.9 reading. Both present conditions and the 6- month outlook improved. The US economy expanded 2% in the third quarter, also expecting a similar reading for the final quarter. Job growth averaged 210,000 in 2015 pushing the jobless rate down to 5% in November. Consumer confidence is forecasted to reach 96.6 in Janyary.
    5. Australia inflation data: Wednesday, 0:30. Australian inflation increased 0.5% in the third quarter of 2015, lower than the 0.7% rise predicted by analysts. The lower than expected rate was one of the main reasons for the rate cut in December. The weak inflation data “was broad-based, except for housing-related items. The weakening in underlying inflation may lead to further cuts in the near future. Consumer prices are expected to rise 0.3% this time. This is key to the RBA decision in the following week, and will be watched by other central banks.
    6. US rate decision: Wednesday, 19:00. The Federal Reserve took the plunge and raised its key interest rate from a range of 0% to 0.25% to a range of 0.25% to 0.5% on its December meeting. The raise affected investors, home buyers and savers. The increase was widely anticipated as the US economy continued to improve making a full recovery from the Great Recession. The Fed noted that future rate hikes will be gradual to avoid killing the economic recovery. No change is expected now and also the implied probability for a move in March looks slim. The big question is: will the Fed acknowledge the recent weakness and hint on a hiatus in rate hikes, joining the other dovish central banks.
    7. NZ rate decision: Wednesday, 21:45. The central bank of New Zealand cut its benchmark rate for the fourth time since June 2015 on its December meeting, unwinding former increases. Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler noted that the economy weakened due to lower diary prices and rising unemployment following a surge in the number of immigrants. Inflation remained below the Bank’s target of 1%-3%, but Wheeler expects export prices to strengthen in 2016 raising inflation to the middle target range.
    8. UK GDP data: Thursday, 9:30. The UK economy eased its expansion rate to 0.4% in the third quarter according to the final read. The Service sector gave its best performance in nearly a year with growth of 0.7%. Construction output fell by more than 2% while industry contracted for a third consecutive quarter. The mild increase suggests the BoE will not be in a hurry to raise rates any time soon. However some economists claim the slowdown in the third quarter is not enough to hamper rate hikes in mid-2016. Economists expect GDP to rise 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2015.
    9. US Durable Goods Orders: Thursday, 13:30. Orders for long lasting factory goods remained unchanged in November. Economists expected orders would decline 0.6%. Business investment plans fell in November. The strong dollar continued to weigh on manufacturing and spending cuts in the energy sector showed little sign of abating. Meanwhile core orders excluding transportation items declined 0.1% while expected to rise 0.1% in November. Durable Goods Orders is predicted to decline 0.7% in December, while Core orders are expected to remain flat.
    10. US Unemployment claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased to 293,000 last week, suggesting a setback in the labor market amid economic slowdown and major stock market selloff. The 10,000 rise was contrary to analysts’ expectations, predicting a drop to 279,000. Although layoffs have picked up in recent weeks, it does not necessarily suggest a downward trend but might be attributed to seasonally adjustments. The four-week moving average of claims increased 6,500 to 285,000 last week. The number of new claims is expected to reach 281,000 this week.
    11. Japan rate decision: Friday. The Bank of Japan maintained its monetary stimulus target in December but decided on operational changes for its purchases of government bonds, exchange-traded funds and real estate investment trusts. Governor Haruhiko Kurodasaid the changes were designed to make it easier for the BOJ to maintain the current policy and didn’t constitute additional easing. However, Kuroda reaffirmed that he wouldn’t hesitate to adjust monetary policy if needed. The Japanese currency has lost about 30% of its value against the dollar despite calls for companies increase their investments. Recent hints from both the central bank and the government talked about more stimulus. Japan certainly does not like the strength of the yen against the dollar, the yuan and even the euro.
    12. Canadian GDP data: Friday, 13:30. Canada’s economic output remained unchanged in October after contracting 0.5% in September. Mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction expanded as well as the public sector, while manufacturing, utilities and retail trade offset this expansion, suggesting the Canadian economy weakened in 2015. Economists forecasted an expansion of 0.2%. Analysts also expect flat growth in the fourth quarter.
    13. US GDP data: Friday, 13:30. U.S. economy expanded at a pace of 2% annually according to the final read for Q3. Businesses gained $56.8 billion worth of inventory in the third quarter, the smallest since the first quarter of 2014 and down sharply from $113.5 billion in the April-June period. Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, grew at a 3.2% after expanding at a 3.6% in the second quarter indicating solid domestic demand. Analysts expect GDP to reach 0.8% in the fourth quarter. It is important to note that the Fed may already have the data before we do.

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

  5. #45
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    Forex Weekly Outlook February 1-5

    The month and the week ended with quite a bit of volatility. Will it continue in February? Rate decisions in Australia and the UK, Employment data from New Zealand, Canada and the US, including the all-important NFP release, stand out. These are the main highlights for this week. Here is an outlook on these important events.


    Last week the U.S. Federal reserve acknowledged at the end of its two-day meeting that the U.S. economy lost momentum at the final month of 2015, despite the continued growth in the labor market. The Fed did not change its plans to continue raising rates in 2016, but cooled expectations for a close by rate hike. The fall in oil prices and weak global markets continue to concern the Fed. Many economists believe it would not be realistic to expect four rate hikes in 2016 as indicated by the Central Bank. What do you think? Let’s start:



    1. Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI: Monday,1:45. This independent measure of the Chinese economy caused worries in recent months as it reflected contraction. even after rising from the lows. A score of 48.1 is expected to follow 48.2 seen last month.
    2. US ISM Manufacturing PMI: Monday, 15:00. The manufacturing PMI continued its contraction in December after a disappointing reading of 48.6 in the previous month. This was the lowest reading since July 2009 with declines across the board. The New Orders Index increased 0.3 points reaching 49.2. The Production Index registered 49.8% from 49.2% in November. The Employment Index declined 3.2 to 48.1. The manufacturing PMI is expected to remain at 48.6 this time.
    3. Australian rate decision: Tuesday, 3:30. The Reserve Bank of Australia maintained the official cash rate at 2.0% on its December meeting. Governor Glenn Stevens noted a certain improvement in economic conditions, but the outlook for may require further monetary easing. Stevens said he is willing to cut rates if economic data worsens. With recent inflation figures beating expectations, no cut is on the cards.
    4. NZ Employment data: Tuesday, 21:44. New Zealand employment market unexpectedly contracted for the first time in three years in the third quarter, mainly due to a decline in part-time workers. Employment fell 0.4% after rising 0.3% in the previous quarter. Economists expected employment to grow 0.4% in the third quarter. Furthermore, the unemployment rate increased to 6% from 5.9 in the second quarter. Economists expect New Zealand’s labor market to expand by 0.8% while the unemployment is predicted to rise to 6.1%.
    5. US ADP Non-Farm Payrolls: Wednesday, 13:15. US private sector employment expanded by 257,000 jobs in December according to the ADP report. The reading pointed to underlying strength in the economy and followed a 211,000 gain in the previous month. Labor market strength suggests the economy’s condition remains solid, and may prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates again in March. US private sector is expected to gain 191,000 in January.
    6. US ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI: Wednesday, 15:00. US service sector expanded less than expected in December with the slowest growth pace in almost two years. The index declined to 55.3 from 55.9 in November, missing market forecast for a reading of 56.0. The New Orders Index posted 58.2, rising 0.7 points; the Employment Index increased 0.7 points to 55.7, while the Prices Index declined 0.6 points from November. However the majority of respondents’ comments remain positive about business conditions and the overall economy. US service sector activity is expected to decline to 55.2.
    7. UK Rate decision: Thursday, 12:00. The Bank of England maintained interest rates in January amid volatility in global markets and a continuous fall in oil prices slowing inflation even further. Only Ian McCafferty voted for a rise to 0.75%. MPC members believed “the outlook remained unchanged from the previous economic forecasts in November. But the minutes also noted the volatility on financial markets, and in share prices in particular. Furthermore, the MPC highlighted a 40% fall in the oil price which would badly affect inflation growth.
    8. Mark Carney speaks: Thursday, 12:00. BOE Governor Mark Carney will speak about the Inflation Report, in London. Carney said at a speech in London that the Bank of England should not begin raising interest rates in the coming months, stating the weak condition of the global economy and the slowed growth in the UK. He also said that the MPC will watch for signs of renewed downturn in inflationary pressures before offering another round of monetary easing.
    9. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of new US claims for unemployment benefits declined last week from a six-month high of 294,000 to 278,000, reaffirming the strength of the US labor market. Economists forecasted a drop to 282,000 in the latest week. The four-week moving average is now 23,750 above its post-recession low of 259.250 from last October. The number of new claims is expected to be 286,000 this week.
    10. Canadian Employment data: Friday, 13:30. The Canadian labor market expanded unexpectedly in December adding 22,800 jobs, amid a large gain in part-time work. The number of full-time employment actually declined in December by 6,400 while the economy added 29,200 part-time jobs. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.1%. The overall picture is less appealing; indicating hiring in the private sector is weak. The 2015 employment growth rate was slightly stronger than in 2014 and 2013, when the overall number of jobs expanded by just 0.7% in each of those years.
    11. US Non-Farm Payrolls: Friday, 13:30. U.S. payrolls surged in December by 292,000 following 252,000 in the previous month. Hiring got a boost from unseasonably warm weather and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at a 7-1/2-year low of 5%. The firm employment data indicates the economy sustains growth while the recent weakness could be attributed to the manufacturing and export-oriented sectors. U.S. payrolls for October and November were revised up to show 50,000 more jobs created than previously reported, adding to the report’s upbeat tone. US private sector is expected to expand by 192,000 in January, while the unemployment rate is estimated to remain at 5%.
    12. US Trade Balance: Friday, 13:30. US trade deficit contracted in November to a nine-month low of $42.4 billion as a sharp decline in imports outweighed a decline in exports. However, the overall picture shows both exports and imports are now falling due to the dollar’s strength and the weakness in global economy. Exports fell 0.9% to US$182.2 billion, more than a four-year low. US trade deficit is predicted to inch up to $42.8 billion in December.

    That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies
    *All times are GMT.

  6. #46
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    Forex Weekly Outlook Feb. 8-12

    The dollar was beaten in the first week of January and staged only a small recovery. Janet Yellen’s testimony stands out, but also watch out for retail sales and consumer sentiment. These are the main market movers for this week. Here is an outlook on the main events on forex calendar.


    The poor ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI showing a significant slowdown in America’s largest sector hit the dollar hard. Dovishness from Draghi and from Carney could not stop the dollar’s fall at first. A mixed jobs report eventually provided some relief: while the headline showed lower than expected monthly job gains at 151K, the unemployment rate declined to 4.9% from 5% and wages grew significantly in January, rising 2.5%. Despite the poor headline employment number, analysts emphasize the positive sides to this report, saying the payroll figure doesn’t change the fact that they’ve been growing at a solid pace recently. Will the US economy pull out of its soft patch in the coming weeks? Let’s start:



    1. US JOLTs: Tuesday, 15:00. While this jobs-related report is lagging (it is for December in this case), the Fed watches it closely for long-term developments. The number of job openings is expected to advance from 5.43 to 5.54 million. Also note the number of quits: more quits mean more confidence in the labor market.
    2. Janet Yellen speaks: Wednesday and Thursday at 15:00. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will testify on the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report before the House Financial Services Committee, in Washington DC. Yellen may explain the Fed’s decision to leave rates unchanged on its January meeting and may offer clues about possible timing for the next hike. The weakness overseas in China, Japan and Europe raised concerns about their effects on US economic outlook. Therefore, policy makers decided to wait and let the storm pass before raising rates again.
    3. US Crude Oil Inventories: Wednesday, 15:30. U.S. crude oil inventories surged more than expected last week. Inventories edged up 7.8 million barrels to 502.7 million barrels beating analysts’ expectations for an increase of 4.8 million barrels. Economists expect this growth trend to continue.
    4. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of jobless claims increased unexpectedly last week by 8,000 to 285,000 as more Americans sought unemployment benefits. However, the reading still suggest that employers are still eager to hire since the number of claims stayed below the 300,000 threshold. The four-week moving average of claims rose 2,000 to 284,750 last week. Economists had forecast claims rising to 280,000. US jobless claims are expected to reach 287,000 this week.
    5. Glenn Stevens speaks: Thursday, 22:30. RBA Governor Glenn Stevens testifies before the House Representatives in Sydney. The RBA decided to keep rates on hold at its last cash rate meeting last week. Concerns over the global economy especially in China, one of its main trading partners, caused a further decline in Australia’s terms of trade. However, Australia’s domestic economy has improved in 2015 business conditions advanced above average levels, employment growth picked up and the unemployment rate declined.
    6. US Retail Sales: Friday, 13:30. US retail sales declined in December by 0.1%, the weakest reading since 2009, raising concern about the pace of consumer spending in 2016. The release was in line with market forecast. In 2015, sales climbed 2.1%, the smallest advance of the current economic expansion. Weaker sales in electronics stores, clothing merchants and grocers, indicate Americans preferred to increase their savings despite the constant improvement in the labor market. Core sakes, excluding automobiles also contracted by 0.1% while expected to climb 0.2%. Economists expect retail sales will rise 0.1%, while core sales will remain flat.
    7. US UoM Consumer Sentiment: Friday, 15:30. Consumer confidence surged in January to the highest level in seven months, reaching 93.3, following 92.6 in December. The reading suggests low inflation had a favorable impact on households, whose outlook for wage gains remained subdued. Economists expected a reading of 92.7. The current conditions index dropped to 105.1 from the prior month’s 108.1, while the six month outlook edged up to 85.7, the highest since June, from 82.7. Consumer confidence is expected to rise to 92.6 this time.

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

    *All times are GMT.

 

 
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