Forex Weekly Outlook: December 13-17

by: Yohay Elam

Important events are lined up for this week such as US Retail sales, IS and Britain’s Inflation data, US Rate decision and many more. Here is an outlook on this week’s market movers.

Obama declared on Dec. 6 that he’ll agree to expend Bush-era tax cuts in exchange for extending federal unemployment insurance. The current tax rates, enacted in 2001 and 2003, are set to expire Dec. 31. His plan would cut the payroll tax by 2 percentage points. In addition to keeping the current tax rates for all Americans, the plan outlined by Obama would extend aid for the long-term unemployed for another 13 months. Will these gestures help lift the US market and improve employment rates?

Let’s start:

  1. British Inflation data: Tuesday, 9:30. UK’s annual inflation continues to be above the banks' inflation target for the third month rising 3.2% in October, 0.1% more than predicted, while annual core CPI remained at 2.7%. November’s inflation report is expected to remain above the target throughout the upcoming year and to drop back again to 1.5% in 2012. Annual inflation is expected to see a smaller rise of 3.1%.
  2. Euro-Zone German ZEW Economic Sentiment: Tuesday, 10:00. The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany has climbed by 9.0 points in November 2010. The indicator stands at 1.8 points after dropping 7.2 points in the previous month. November’s rise of economic sentiment is probably due to Germany’s improved labor market stimulating domestic demand. A further rise of 3.5 is expected now.
  3. US Retail Sales: Tuesday, 13:30. Retail Sales reached a better-than-expected figure in October, rising 1.2% - the fourth consecutive monthly gain. Core retail sales excluding vehicles sales, gasoline and building materials, has increased 0.2 per cent after an increase of 0.4 per cent in September. An increase of 0.7% is forecasted.
  4. US PPI: Tuesday, 13:30. The U.S. Producer Price Index for finished goods rose 0.4% for the third consecutive month, but less than 0.7% expected. Core PPI excluding food & energy, fell 0.6% - the largest decline since July 2006 while 0.2% rise was expected. A further rise of 0.6% is anticipated.
  5. US Rate Decision: Tuesday, 19:15. September’s data confirms that the pace of recovery in productivity and employment continues to be slow. Household spending increases gradually, but is dragged down by high unemployment and slow income growth. In light of this, FOMC decided to concentrate its efforts on maximizing employment and price stability to promote a stronger pace of economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time. The Committee is likely to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25% for an extended period.
  6. British Employment Data: Wednesday, 09:30. The claimant count fell by a seasonally adjusted 3,700 in October, after rising by 1,300 in September, revised down from 5,300 while analysts expected a 6,000 jobs increase. However, the rate of unemployment remained unchanged in September, holding steady at a seasonally adjusted 7.7%, in line with expectations. Another decrease of 2,900 in the number of unemployed is predicted.
  7. US Inflation Data: Wednesday, 13:30. The Inflation in the United States edged up 0.2 per cent in October, indicating deflation swings for the US economy. The monthly inflation rate was less than 0.3% forecasted. The core rate of inflation excluding more volatile food and energy costs, was flat for the third straight month and has risen just 0.6 per cent in the past year, the lowest since records began 1957.
  8. US TIC Long-Term Purchases: Wednesday, 14:00. U.S. Treasury International Capital purchases fell to USD 81.0B in September which is more than 100.3B expected. A small increase to 82.3 is expected now.
  9. Switzerland Rate Decision, Thursday, 8:30. The Swiss National Bank left the three-month Libor target rate at 0.25 percent after weighing the risks of faster inflation against the danger that a stronger franc will undermine exports and hurt an economic recovery. Investors tend to buy the franc during times of financial and economic turmoil because of the perceived stability of Switzerland’s economy, as its trade surplus frees the nation from dependence on overseas capital. The same rate is likely to be announced again.
  10. American Building Permits: Thursday, 13:30. U.S Building Permits climbed by 0.5% to reach 550 thousand during October, which is worse than 570 thousand starts expected. Housing starts dropped during September by 11.7% to reach 519 thousand, which is worse than the expected 1.6% fall or 600 thousand starts. An increase to 570 thousand in Building permits is predicted.
  11. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. A better than expected decrease of 17,000 in the number of new claims for jobless benefits gave a boost to the US market. The reading of 421,000 claims is much better than the previous week’s figure of 438,000 and more optimistic than the 436,000 predicted. A small rise to 424,000 is expected this week.
  12. US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: Thursday, 15:00. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its manufacturing index rose to 22.0 in November, after rising to 1.0 in October while analysts expected a 4.5 rise in November. The positive reading is partly due to an increase in employment and work hours. A decrease to 14.3 is predicted now.
  13. Euro-Zone German Ifo Business Climate: Friday, 9:00. IFO Business Climate index rose to 109.3 from 107.7 for the November period. The reading was above the 107.5 expected and is a record high for the index since Germany’s reunification. This is indicating a strong recovery for Germany and rising demand for its exports. A small decrease to109.2 is forecasted.
  • All times are GMT.