Weekly Outlook for 12-16 December

The third week of December brings many news items, meetings and events that may affect forex and commodities markets; these items include: U.S. PPI, U.S. CPI and Philly Fed Survey; OPEC’s meeting; FOMC meeting and statement; Swiss Bank’s rate decision (just to name a few items). Here is an economic news calendar for the week of December 12th to December 16th that highlights the main news items related to the U.S., Australia, and Europe.   

(All times GMT):

  1. Monday 12th of December 2:30 – Australian Trade Balance: The upcoming report will regard October 2011. In the September report, the seasonally adjusted balance of goods and services declined from a surplus of $2,953 million in August 2011 to $2,564 million in September 2011 – a $389 million decrease. There was a decrease in export of non-monetary gold by $411 million (24%); if the gold exports will continue to fall in October , it might suggest a decrease in demand for non-monetary gold that could explain the development in gold prices (see here last report);
  2. Monday 12th of December 19:00 –U.S. Federal Budget Balance: this upcoming publication will show the changes in the U.S federal balance for November 2011; this report indicates the government debt growth and thus may affect the U.S dollar. In the November report regarding October the deficit rose by $9 billion to a deficit of $1,295 billion for the fiscal year of 2011 (See here a summary of the recent report).
  3. Tuesday 13th of December 09:30 – Great Britain CPI: this report will present the yearly rate of GB’s consumer price index for November; in the last report regarding October the annual CPI slipped to 5.0%; this news may influence pound traders;
  4. Tuesday 13th of December 13:30 – Changes in U.S. Retail Sales: this report will present the monthly changes in the retail sales and food services during November; in the previous report regarding October, the retail sales, when controlling for the price changes, moderately increased by 0.5% from the previous month; gasoline stations sales decreased by 0.4% in October compared with September 2011, but were 15.6% above sales in October 2010; this report could indicate the changes in U.S demand for gasoline (see here my review of the recent report).
  5. Tuesday 13th of December 19:15 – FOMC Meeting (Statement): This FOMC meeting will be the last one for the year and might present some new developments especially if the Fed Chairman Bernanke will eventually add a new program to the recent FOMC $400 twist plan that was announced back in November. The FOMC meeting and the statement that will follow could affect the forex markets and consequently also affect commodities prices including gold and silver prices;
  6. Tuesday 13th of December tentative –OPEC Monthly Report: this report will show the main changes in crude oil and natural gas’s supply and demand worldwide; the report will also analyze the development in the production of OPEC countries (mainly shed some light on Libya’s production levels) during October; the recent fluctuations in crude oil prices might be stem, in part, from the changes in OPEC’s oil production; (See here a summary of the last November report);
  7. Tuesday 13th of December tentative –IEA monthly oil report: this upcoming report will present an updated (as of November) outlook and analysis for the global crude oil market for 2011 and 2012 (See here a summary of the last report);




  1. Wednesday 14th of December All Day –OPEC Meeting: the upcoming OPEC meeting will revolve the recent developments in the Middle East including the sanctions of the West on Iran and the progress of Libya’s oil production; OPEC countries will need to come up with a decision on the whether there will be any changes in the OPEC  oil production quota for 2012; this meeting could have influence oil traders   (See here a summary of the last meeting);
  2. Wednesday 14th of December 15:30 – EIA Crude Oil Market Report: the EIA (Energy Information Administration) will publish its weekly report on the U.S oil and petroleum market for the week ending on December 9th; last week, the U.S petroleum & oil stockpiles rose by 9.5 million barrels to 1,749.93 million barrels (see here the recent oil stockpiles review);
  3. Thursday 15th of December 08:30 – Libor Rate of Swiss National Bank: the Swiss National Bank will make its decision on the Libor rate; this decision could affect not only forex traders but also commodities traders if there will be a change in the currently low Libor rate;
  4. Thursday 15th of December 09:00 – Euro Area Manufacturing PMI (November): In the previous flash report regarding October 2011, the Euro Zone Manufacturing PMI remained below the 50 point mark and reached 47.2. This report will provide an indicator to the economic growth of the Euro zone economy and could influence the Euro/USD exchange rate consequently major commodities prices;
  5. Thursday 15th of December 11:25 – ECB President Speaks: Following last week’s interest rate cut by the ECB this week the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi will give a speech about the economic progress and stability of the EU. This speech could affect the markets if he will make a surprise announcement of the level of involvement of ECB in containing the European debt crisis;
  6. Thursday 15th of December 13:30 – U.S. Producer Price Index: This report will show the progress in the PPI during November, i.e. the inflation rate from producers’ stand point. In the previous report regarding October, this index for finished goods slipped by 0.3% compared with September’s rate but rose by 5.9% in annual terms; this news could have an effect on gold and silver prices;
  7. Thursday 15th of December 13:30 – Department of Labor Report – U.S. Unemployment Claims: initial claims declined by 23,000 to 381,000 claims for the week ending on December 3rd; the number of insured unemployment fell by 174k to 3.585  million during the week of November 26th; the upcoming report may affect forex and commodities markets;
  8. Thursday 15th of December 14:00 – U.S. TIC Long Term Purchases: The Treasury International Capital report will present the main changes in the purchases and sales of US long term treasuries in October 2011. In the previous report regarding September 2011, the net foreign holdings in U.S Treasuries longer-term notes inclined by $57.6 billion;
  9. Thursday 15th of December 15:00 – Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: This monthly survey provides an indicator for the economic progress of the US economy as it measures the manufacturing conditions of the US. In the last November survey, the report showed slightly decline in the growth rate as the index declined from +8.7 in October to +3.6 in November. This index, may have be among the factors to affect not only the US Dollar but also American stock markets, oil prices and gold price  upon publication(see here last report)  ;
  10. Thursday 15th of December 15:30 – EIA U.S. Natural Gas Report: This weekly EIA report on U.S. natural gas market will analyze and report the natural gas storage and price changes for the week ending on December 9th. In the previous report, natural gas storage declined by 20 Bcf to 3,831 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states (see here my recent natural gas storage review);
  11. Friday 15th of December 08:30 – ECB President Speaks: Mario Draghi will give another speech on Friday; this speech could also influence forex and commodities traders;
  12. Friday 15th of December 13:30 – Report of U.S CPI: This monthly report will show the main changes in the consumer price index during November. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor statistics for October 2011, the CPI declined by 0.1% but rose over the last 12 months by 2.1%. The main reasons for this decrease are related to the sharp falls in energy prices.

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