Weekly Outlook for 19-23 December

Following the sharp drops in the major commodities prices recorded during last week, the week before Christmas may also bring sharp shifts and turns    as there are many items, meetings and events on the financial and political agenda that may affect forex and commodities prices; some of the items include: U.S. new home sales report, Japan’s rate decision; ECB president press conference; Canada’s GDP; U.S existing home sales report. Here is an economic news calendar for the week of December 19th to December 23rd that highlights the main news items related to the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan and Europe.   

(All times GMT):

  1. Monday 19th of December 11:25 – ECB President Speaks: Following the recent interest rate reduction done by the ECB, this week the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi will talk about the economic progress and stability of the EU. This speech might impact  the forex and commodities markets if he change his opinion of ECB not issuing a QE plan for the struggling economies in the EU;
  2. Monday 19th of December 2:30 – Monetary Policy Meeting Australia’s Bank: The minutes of the monetary policy meeting of the reserve bank of Australia shows the main factors that affected the board’s decision to leave the Bank’s basic interest rate unchanged at 4.75%; this decision may affect the AUD/USD exchange rate and consequently major commodities prices including crude oil prices and gold price (see here last rate decision);
  3. Tuesday 20th of December 13:00 – Canadian Core CPI: This report will refer to the core consumer price index changes during November 2011 that controls the volatile components such as energy, fruit and vegetables. According to the Canadian CPI report for October 2011, the CPI rose by 2.9% during the past 12 months up to October – this is a slightly lower rate than in September, in which there was a 3.2% growth rate in 12 months; the core CPI excluding food and energy grew by only 1.5% from October 2010 to October 2011 – lower than the 1.9% increase during the 12 months up to September (annual rate). This news could affect the Canadian dollar.
  4. Tuesday 20th of December 13:30 – U.S. Housing Starts: the U.S Census Bureau will publish the U.S housing starts report; this figure was historically correlated with gold price – as housing starts declined, gold price tends to rise the following day (even when controlling to the U.S dollar effect); in the previous report, the adjusted annual rate reached 628,000 in October 2011, which is 0.3% above September’s rate of 630,000 (see here the recent review);
  5. Tuesday 20th of December 13:30 – U.S. Building Permits: The previous report presented a 10.9% increase (M-o-M) in the adjusted annual rate of building permits as it reached 653,000 in October 2011. If this report will continue to show a gain in the building permits rate, it may indicate that the US housing market may start to pull out of its slump (see here the previous review);
  6. Tuesday 20th of December tentative – Bank of Japan – Rate  and Monetary Policy Decision and Statement: This statement will show Bank of Japan’s rate decision and other monetary related decisions. In the previous statement, the BOJ kept the interest rate unchanged at 0 to 0.1 percent. If the BOJ will announce additional monetary stimulus plans, it might affect the forex and commodities markets seeing that Japan is among the leading countries in importing commodities such as gold, crude oil and natural gas;
  7. Wednesday 21st of December 13:30 – Core Retails Sales Canada (October 2011): This report presents the changes in the retails sales in Canada during October 2011. It may influence the USD/CAD exchange rate. In the previous report regarding September 2011, retails sales slightly inclined by 1.0% to $38.2 billion; in volume terms the sales also rose during the month by 0.6%; gasoline station sales inclined by 0.8% increase during September 2011 (see here the full report);
  8. Wednesday 21st of December 15:00 – U.S. Existing Home Sales: This report will show the development in U.S. existing home sales during November 2011; in the previous report regarding October the number of homes sold rose: the seasonally adjusted annual rate reached 4.97 million home sales compared with an annual rate of 4.90 million home sales in September 2011, a 1.4% increase (see here the recent review);




  1. Wednesday 21st 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 16th; last week, the U.S petroleum & oil stockpiles inclined by 2 million barrels to 1,751.93 million barrels (see here the recent oil stockpiles review);
  2. Thursday 22nd of December 09:30 – Great Britain Updated GDP 3Q 2011: This will be the final projection of the third quarter real GDP of GB. In the previous estimate of the GDP for the 3Q2011 grew by 0.5%; if the final report will show a change in estimate, it may affect the GBP/USD exchange rate;
  3. Thursday 22nd of December 13:30 – Final U.S GDP 3Q 2011 Report: This will be the last estimate of the third quarter 2011 real GDP of US. In the preliminary estimates the 3Q2011 GDP growth rate was 2.0%, compared with 1.3% increase at 2Q2011. This shows a slightly higher growth rate for the US’s GDP even though the recent Q3 growth rate estimate was revised down; another revision may affect traders (for the second estimate of 3Q GDP).
  4. Thursday 22nd of December 13:30 – Department of Labor Report – U.S. Unemployment Claims: initial claims decreased by 19,000 to 366,000 claims for the week ending on December 10th; the number of insured unemployment slightly inclined by 4k to 3.603  million during the week of December 3rd; the upcoming report may affect forex and commodities prices;
  5. Thursday 22nd of December 15:30 – EIA U.S. Natural Gas Market Report: the upcoming weekly report of the EIA on U.S. natural gas market will analyze and report the changes for the week ending on December 16th on natural gas storage, production, demand and prices. In the previous report, natural gas storage dropped by 102 Bcf to 3,729 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states (see here last week’s review on the natural gas market);
  6. Friday 23rd of December 13:30 – Canada GDP by Industry: This report will show the changes in major industrial sectors for October 2011. In the last report regarding September 2011, the real gross domestic product advanced by 0.2%. The monthly increase was stem in part from a gain in good and services. This report might affect the trade on the Canadian dollar currency and consequently affect commodities prices (for the full previous report);
  7. Friday 23rd of December 13:30 – U.S Department of Commerce – Report on Core Durable Goods: This monthly report will examine the changes in U.S. orders of durable goods in the manufacturing sector during November. This report may indirectly present the changes in U.S. demand for commodities such as crude oil. During October 2011, manufactured durable goods decreased by $1.4 billion to $197.7 billion; Non-defense new orders for capital goods also dropped by $3.5 billion or 4.6% to $71.6 billion (for the full report);
  8. Friday 23rd of December 15:00 – U.S. New Home Sales: This report will present the development in the real estate market during November 2011 and change in the U.S new home sales; in the previous report (October 2011), the sales of new homes reached an annual rate of 307,000 – a 1.3% increase compared with the number of new homes sold in September 2011; the sales in October 2011 was 8.9% above the home sales rate in October 2010; if this upward trend will progress, it may further indicate a moderate increase in the U.S real estate market and may positively affect commodities prices.

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