The US dollar made an impressive comeback after a weak start in a volatile week. US housing Data and the EU Economic Summit are the highlights of this week. Have Spain and Greece been stabilized for now? Here is an outlook on the main market-movers on out menu for the next seven days.
In Greece, the pro-bailout parties won and formed a government, but now the real task of renegotiating the bailout begins. For Spain, the hopes of direct bond buying managed to calm the markets after yields rose to new records. Looking at the markets, the situation is far from being calm. In the US, economic data continued to disappoint as the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index nose-dived, jobless claims rose and also other figures disappointed. However these soft figures did not induce QE3 in June but it keeps the door open for this option in the future. Let’s Start
- US New Home Sales: Monday, 14:00. The housing sector continues to improve in April with a bigger than expected rise in new residential construction, climbing to an annual rate of 343,000. Economists expected a rate of 335,000 following another gain in March reaching 332,000. This growth trend suggests the housing market is stabilizing. A rise to 347,000 is expected now.
- US CB Consumer Confidence: Tuesday, 14:00. U.S. consumer confidence declined unexpectedly in May to 64.9 from 68.7 in April while analysts expected the index reach 70.0. The current economic conditions and the short-term outlook were the main cause for this drop. A small decline to 64.0 is forecasted.
- US Core Durable Goods Orders: Wednesday, 12:30.U.S. core durable goods excluding transportation items dropped unexpectedly in April by 0.6%, contrary to predictions of 1.1% growth, following 0.8% decline in March. Meanwhile durable goods increased 0.2% in April less than the 0.5% rise anticipated. An increase of 1.0% is expected this time.
- US Pending Home Sales: Wednesday, 14:00. The number of contracts for the purchase of existing homes, plunged unexpectedly by 5.5% in April, the lowest level since December, following a 3.8% gain in March. It remains to be seen whether this is a temporary relapse, since most housing indicators are currently up. A climb of 1.3% is anticipated now.
- UK Current Account: Thursday, 8:30. The UK’s current account gap improved in the fourth quarter due to a reduction in trade deficit and an increase in income surplus. The current account deficit dropped to GBP 8.5 billion following a revised GBP 10.5 billion deficit in the third quarter. Deficit is expected to widen to GBP 8.9 billion.
- Euro-Zone Economic Summit: Thursday. This high tension event is a gathering of the European Council and the EU leaders aimed to determine the future of the euro by trying to form building blocks for a joint management of economic and monetary issues. This meeting raises high expectations among countries outside the euro-zone hoping for an urgent solution to the worsening situation in the Euro Zone.
- US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 12:30. Fewer Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week, but the drop was minor and below expectations suggesting the job market has halted its improvement. Since March, jobless claims have been rising above the 375,000 level mark, while 3.3 million people filed for their second week of unemployment benefits indicating worsening conditions in the job market. A drop to 385,000 is predicted this time.
- Canadian GDP: Friday, 12:29. Canadian economy expanded at a slower pace in the first quarter growing 0.1% following a 0.2% contraction in the fourth quarter of 2011. Economists anticipated a 0.4% growth rate. Contributors to growth were business investment in plant and equipment, and housing investment, while consumer spending on goods and services slowed in the first quarter and demand for exports softened. A growth rate of 0.2% is likely this time.
*All times are GMT.
That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies.