The US dollar had another week of gains, on the background of the Greek default, which became official. The Fed decision is the highlight of the week, alongside US retail sales, British employment numbers and other events. Here is an outlook on the events to watch for.
Greece is officially in default. This came after the results of the bond swap were announced. The debt struck country still awaits money from the EU and the IMF. Will it get it this week? The US job market gained 227,000 jobs in February. This good reading is another sign for the US solid economic recovery, diminishing the need for further monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve. The report also showed a rise in the employment-population ratio which worried Bernanke in his last testimony before the US Senate. Is the US economy out of the woods?
- US Federal Budget Balance: Monday, 18:00. The US government budget deficit dropped better than expected in January reaching $27.4 billion, a direct outcome of rising economic growth resulting in higher tax revenue. December deficit reached 86 billion. Deficit is expected to widen to %229.3 billion.
- Japan rate decision: Tuesday. The Bank of Japan has unexpectedly eased monetary policy even further, by adding 10 trillion yen stimulus to asset purchases reaching 65 trillion to help fight deflation and strengthen growth. The increase will be for purchases of long-term government bonds. The BOJ maintained its low interest rate at a range of 0% to 0.10%. No chane is rates or policy is expected.
- Euro-zone German ZEW Economic Sentiment: Tuesday, 10:00.Germany’s ZEW Survey of investor sentiment continued to improve in February crossing over to a positive 5.4pts after -21.6. Outlook for economic growth has improved as well as the current situation gauge. A climb to 12.4 is anticipated.
- US retail sales: Tuesday, 12:30. U.S. retail sales has improved by 0.4% in January after a flat reading in December, but less than the 0.8% growth predicted by analysts. Meanwhile, Core sales climbed 0.7%, better than the 0.6% increase expected and following 0.5% decrease, suggesting consumers are increasing their spending. Retail sales are predicted to rise 1.1% while core sales are likely to rise 0.8%.
- US FOMC Statement: Tuesday, 18:15. The Federal Open Market Committee meeting in December revealed that the economy expanded moderately despite the global slowdown. Labor market conditions continued to improve although unemployment rate remained elevated. Consumer spending has also grown but business fixed investment dropped.
- UK Claimant Count Change: Wednesday, 9:30. The number of people claiming unemployment benefits increased more-than-expected in January, rising 6,900 after climbing 1,900 in December, much higher than the 3,200 rise predicted by analysts. The total figure of unemployed people reached 2.67 million last in January. A further increase to 7,900 is expected.
- Ben Bernanke speaks: Wednesday, 14:00. Ben Bernanke head of the Federal Reserve is scheduled to speak inNashville at the Independent Community Bankers of America convention. His words cause market volatility.
- US PPI : Thursday, 12:30. Producer price index rose by 0.1% January following a 0.1% decline in December. Analysts expected a 0.3% rise. The increase came despite the drop in the food and energy sectors. Meantime Core PPI increased 0.4% while expected to gain. An increase of 0.6% is predicted.
- US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 12:30. The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits increased to 362,000 last week, higher by 8,000 from the prior week. This reading was higher than the 352,000 claims predicted by analysts but is still consistent with the improvement trend in the Job market. A drop to 357,000 is forecasted now.
- US TIC Long-Term Purchases: Thursday, 13:00. U.S. Treasury International Capital dropped considerably in December to USD17.9 billion after a decrease in foreign holdings of long-term U.S. securities. This reading came after USD61.3 billion in November. Analysts expected a balance of USD45.4 billion. A rise to USD29.3 billion is expected now.
- US Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: Thursday, 14:00. ThePhiladelphia manufacturing activity index continued to climb in February reaching 10.2 after7.3 in January an indicator of the recovery trend in theUS manufacturing sector. Economists expected a reading of 9.0. Another increase to 11.5 is expected.
- US Core CPI: Friday, 12:30.U.S. consumer prices increased 0.2% in January below the 0.3% rise anticipated by analysts and following a flat reading in the previous month. Meanwhile Core CPI excluding volatile food and energy prices gained 0.2%, in line with predictions following 0.1% increase in the previous month. Prices increased in nearly all categories suggesting an inflation trend. A silimar climb of 0.2% is anticipated.
- US UoM Consumer Sentiment: Friday, 13:55. The University of Michigan Confidence Survey dropped to72.5 in February following 5 months of gains. amid a decrease in consumer optimism about U.S. economic recovery. Economists anticipated a drop to 74.4. Nevertheless February figure was revised upwardly on the second half of February reaching 75.3 which is0.3 pts higher than January’s reading indicating ongoing expansion. A further climb to 75.8 is expected.
*All times are GMT.
That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies.