The US dollar had a positive week, making gains against most currencies. The EU still hasn’t released more aid to Greece, there is unrest in the Middle East, but the fiscal cliff negotiations began relatively positively. The Eurogroup meeting, US housing data, Japan’s rate decision are the major events this week. Here is an outlook on the man market movers to shape forex trading.
In Europe, there is a growing drift between the EU and the IMF. Could the IMF leave the Greek program? Last week Superstorm Sandy affected several readings in the US. The Philly Fed Index plunged to -10.7 . Jobless claims increased sharply due to closure of workplaces hit by the storm. Retail sales also hit by the storm declining more than predicted following a rise in the previous month. Will these weak figures continue this week?
- US Existing Home Sales: Monday, 15:00. Sales of previously ownedU.S. homes declined in September following a two year record high in the previous month. Purchases dropped 1.7% to 4.75 million annual rate, a bit better than the 4.73 million predicted by analysts. However the housing market is on the rise, with record low mortgage rates issued by the Federal Reserve as part of their monetary stimulus program and an ongoing improvement in the labor market stirring up the housing sector. A small rise to 4.76 million is expected now.
- Eurogroup Meetings: Tuesday. The last Eurogroup meeting concluded with a resolution to provide Greece with some breathing space, granting a two-year extension to its fiscal adjustment program. Theeurogroup will further discuss ways to aid Greece on 20 November. The EU was pleased with the Greek reform in the pension age increase to 67 which ensures its viability, But is disagrees with the IMF over the sustainability of the debt. While Greece avoided an immediate default on November 16th, it still didn’t receive the next tranche of aid.
- Japan rate decision: Tuesday. The BOJ board decided to keep rates at a minimum low and increased the size of its asset purchases to ¥91 trillion ($1.14 trillion) from ¥80 trillion previously. The bank of Japan joined forces with the government issuing a statement pledging the government and the BOJ will “work together and make their utmost efforts” to address deflation, the implication is a formal tightening of the government’s grip on the central bank. The government also plans to weaken the yen by intervening in the foreign-exchange market. No change in rates is expected, but more QE could not be ruled out. USD/JPY consolidated some of its gains, that it enjoyed after elections were called.
- US Building Permits: Tuesday, 13:30. US building permits for residential construction edged up to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 894,000 in September after posting 801,000 units in August. This reading is 45.1% higher than the September a year earlier indicating a strong recovery in the housing industry. The annualized number is expected to reach 870,000 this time.
- Ben Bernanke speaks: Tuesday, 12:15. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to speak in New York on economic recovery. Audience questions are expected. This speech can cause volatility in the market. Bernanke recently played down the improvement in the housing sector, and also the meeting minutes showed that the door open for more QE.
- US Unemployment Claims: Wednesday, 13:30. Superstorm Sandy sharply increased the number of people seeking unemployment benefits to a seasonally adjusted 439,000 last week. The steep rise occurred in states damaged by the storm since people are entitled to file applications is their workplace is closed and they do not get paid. The four-week average of applications, increased to 383,750. Unemployment claims are expected to drop to 397,000.
- Eurozone German Ifo Business Climate: Thursday, 9:00.Germany’s Ifo business sentiment declined unexpectedly in October, down to 100.0 from 101.4 in August, reaching the lowest reading since February 2010. Economists expected the index to touch 101.5. These weak figures indicate German economy is in danger of entering recession unless the Eurozone recuperates. The German government expects the economy to expand by 0.8% this year and by 1.0% next year, compared to 3% last year. A further decline to 99.6 is expected now.
*All times are GMT.
That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies.