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The US dollar advanced in the past week, riding on some good news and especially on the tensions in Greece. Athens will be in the limelight again. In addition, US housing data, Unemployment claims and German Ifo Business Climate are the major market movers lined up this week. Here is an outlook on the most influential trade events.

Last week brought more encouraging news for the US labor market, with a lower than expected, unemployment claims of 348K indicating a steady improvement in the Job market with a strong hiring trend. However the European debt crisis is deepening amid the ongoing standstill around Greece and the EU’s reluctance to hand the full bailout package. Will the EU current developments affect US recovery? Let’s start

  1. Eurogroup meeting: Monday. This is a critical meeting of EU finance ministers, that is expected to sign off the the second Greek bailout deal, including the haircut for bondholders. There are 5 signs that this will be delayed once again, or even that the deal will be cancelled and Greek will default on March 23rd. Any delay will strengthen the US dollar across the board, and weaken the euro in particular. Negotiations are ongoing through the weekend.
  2. US Existing Home Sales: Wednesday, 15:00. Sales of second hand U.S. homes increased in December to 4.61 million annual rate after 4.39 million in November a good sign for a recovery in the housing market. The reading was below the 4.65 million expected by analysts. The annual rate of existing home sales s expected to rise to 4.67 million in January.
  3. German Ifo Business Climate: Thursday, 9:00. The Munich Institute for Economic Research released an encouraging Business confidence reading for January indicating optimism among German business leaders. The reading edged up to 108.3 points from 107.3 points in December and was much better than the 107.6 score anticipated by analysts. A further rise to 108.6 is predicted.
  4. US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 13:30. The number of Americans filing initial unemployment claims unexpectedly dropped last week to the lowest point in nearly four years reaching 348,000 from 361,000 in the previous week indicating a continuous improvement in the job market with a strong hiring trend. Another drop to 345,000 is expected now.
  5. UK Revised GDP: Friday, 9:30. British economy expanded 0.5% in the third quarter as anticipated following 0.2% growth in the second quarter. However the fourth quarter is not expected to be positive in light of the European debt crisis a 0.2% decrease is expected now.
  6. US New Home Sales: Friday, 15:00. Sales of newU.S. homes unexpectedly dropped in December to 307,000 annual rate, lower than the 321,000 home sales expected by analysts and following314,000 in the previous month. Home builders are at a loss when competing against existing homes discounted prices due to numerous foreclosures. A rise to316,000 in the number of new home sales is expected now.

*All times are GMT.

Source: Weekly Market Movers: February 20-24