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Trading This Week's Retail Sales Reports

Jan. 19, 2011 6:05 AM ET
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Forex Gump's Blog
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Y'all looking for some reports to trade the news? Well, you're in luck, cause you've got three retail sales reports headed your way later this week!

New Zealand

First up, we're gonna get breaking news from one of my favorite holiday destinations, New Zealand!

New Zealand's monthly retail sales report is due tomorrow (January 20) at 9:45 pm GMT, with an expected growth of 1.3% in November. This would be a nice improvement from October, when it printed a disappointing decline of 2.5%.

Keep in mind that tomorrow's report will show November figures and we all know what people love to do during this time - Christmas shopping! Still, let me warn you that October's decline was the largest monthly decline in FIVE years. If tomorrow's report shows yet another disappointing figure, it could send the Kiwi tumbling down the charts. On the other hand, if we see an exceedingly positive number, we may see NZD/USD break through a key trend line.

Daily Chart

United Kingdom

On Friday at 9:30 am GMT, the U.K. will release its December retail sales figures. A drop of 0.1% in December is expected, opposite the 0.3% gain seen in November. Quite odd since December is supposed to be the time when consumers gobbled up all the Apple products before the U.K.'s VAT increase kicks in!

The overall trend in retail sales for 2010 is flat, with some months positive and the others negative, so I wouldn't read too much into the actual figures if they do not hit expectations. In any case, expect the pound to react the same way it does in the previous releases: up if the actual result beats forecast, and down if it fails to meet forecast.

NZD/USD Daily Chart


Last to hit the pip stage is Canada's retail sales report on Friday at 12:30 pm GMT. The data posted its fifth consecutive rise last October, and even beat expectations with growth rate of 0.8%. Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada also said last December 7 that household spending was stronger than expected for the second half of the year. Boo yeah! No wonder the BOC also raised its GDP forecast for 2011 and 2012 last Tuesday!

Before you get an overdose of good vibes though, you might also want to know that the high price of fuel was the main driver of the rise in retail sales last October. In fact, retail sales in terms of volume alone actually edged down by 0.2%!

This time around analysts are pegging retail sales figures at 0.5%. The Loonie slipped a little against the Greenback the last time the report was released because of worse-than-expected CPI report, but watch real closely if the pair will make a run for parity in case retail sales managed to exceed expectations.

USD/CAD Daily Chart

So there you have it my forex friends! If you're a total noob and you wanna know the 411 on how to trade these reports, make sure you stop by our Trade the News lesson and educate yourself!

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