The US dollar made a comeback and the greenback was a big loser in a week that saw trends change. And now, US Durable Goods Orders, Consumer Confidence as well as UK, Canadian and US GDP data stand out. These are the highlight events in Forex calendar. Here is an outlook on the main market-movers for this week.
The Federal Reserve released minutes from its April 28-29 policy meeting, revealing the planned rate hike will not take place in June. Despite growing confidence in the US economic recovery, the recent data suggest a temporary slowdown. Weaker consumer spending, slow growth and employment data led policy makers to postpone their decision on raising rates. Fed officials were also disappointed that falling oil prices did not spur growth as anticipated and that the recent dollar softness muted inflation. The Fed has reiterated it will not raise rates until it is “reasonably confident” that prices are moving toward its 2% target. Will the US economy rebound from its recent soft patch? In the euro-zone, talk about front-loading QE hit the euro in particular. The common currency reversed its previous gains. In the UK, inflation dipped below 0% and in Japan GDP came out better than expected. Let’s start:
- US Durable Goods Orders: Tuesday, 12:30. The U.S. manufacturing sector rebounded in March amid expansion in the transportation industry. New orders for long-lasting manufactured goods increased by 4.0%, to $240.2 billion, following a 1.4% decline in February. However, core durable goods orders, excluding the volatile transportation sector, declined 0.2% to $159.9 billion. The weak core figure followed seven months of negative readings, indicating the second quarter may not be as strong as forecast. A drop of 0.4% in orders and a gain of 0.5% in core orders is on the cards.
- US CB Consumer Confidence: Tuesday, 14:00. Consumer confidence fell unexpectedly in April to 95.2 from 101.4 in March amid weak job growth. While economists expected sentiment to rise to 102.5, sentiment plunged to the lowest level in 2015. Fuel prices continue to remain below last year’s prices contributing to growth but the soft patch in the US labor market overshadowed this positive development. 95.3 is expected now.
- Canadian rate decision: Wednesday, 14:00. The Bank of Canada kept its overnight rate unchanged at 0.75%. Governor Stephen Poloz forecast a positive outlook for the Canadian economy, despite the current weakness related to the collapse in oil prices. The central bank cut its original 1.5% growth forecast for the first quarter of 2015, to non- growth. However, Poloz insisted the economy would rebound in the second half of the year. Nonetheless, many economists believe the oil prices collapse will have a longer effect on Canadian growth.
- US Unemployment Claims: Thursday, 12:30. The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits increased by 10,000 claims last week, reaching 274,000. Analysts expected a smaller rise to 271,000. Despite last week’s increase, the number of claims remained below 300,000 indicating the labor market continues to strengthen for the 11th week. The four-week moving average fell 5,500 last week to 266,250, reaching the lowest level since April 2000. A similar level of 272K is estimated now.
- UK GDP: Thursday, 8:30. According to the preliminary release for Q1 2015, the economy expanded by only 0.3%. The figure will likely be upgraded to 0.4% this time. It’s important to note that this growth rate is lower than seen beforehand.
- Canadian GDP: Friday, 12:30. Canada’s economy stalled in February showing no-growth, after contracting 0.2% in January. The mild improvement in the service sector was offset by contraction in goods-producing industries. Both manufacturing and energy sectors shrank in February suggesting the energy sector is not the sole cause for Canada’s economic weakness, as implied by the Central Bank. Economists believe the BOC will have to cut rates later this year to spur growth. An advance of 0.2% is on the cards now.
- US GDP: Friday, 12:30. According to the first release for Q1, the economy grew at an annual rate of only 0.2%, below expectations. Things are expected to turn even lower, with a downgrade to contraction of around 0.9% this time . Fed Reserve chair, Janet Yellen also discussed the possibility of raising rates if the employment market will show substantial signs of growth.
*All times are GMT.
That’s it for the major events this week. Stay tuned for coverage on specific currencies