Weekly Outlook for October 3-7

The debt crisis in Europe will continue to occupy the news and affect forex, stocks and commodities markets throughout the week. This upcoming week brings many news items that could influence the commodities market including gold and crude oil. The main events and reports for the upcoming week include: ECB rate decision, Ben Bernanke’s testimony, U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI, and U.S. and Canada unemployment rate and non-farm employment reports. Here is an economic news calendar for the week of October 3rd to October 7th that highlights the main news items and reports related to the U.S., Euro Area, Australia, Japan and Canada.   

(all times GMT):

  1. Monday 3rd of October 15.00 – U.S. ISM Manufacturing PMI: This report will show the monthly change in manufacturing sector on a national level during September 2011. During August the index slipped to 50.6% a 0.3 percent points decrease compared to July’s index; this index might affect traders of crude oil and natural gas (see here my review of last report);
  2. Monday 3rd of October 2:30 – Australian Trade Balance: The upcoming report will regard August 2011. In the July 2011 report, the seasonally adjusted balance of goods and services inclined from a surplus of $1,817 million in June 2011 to $1,826 million in July 2011 – a $9 million increase. There was an increase in export of non-monetary gold by $596 million (82%); if the gold exports will show a hike in August, it might suggest an increase in demand for non-monetary gold that could explain the changes in gold prices (see here last report);
  3. Tuesday 4th of October 5:30 – Reserve Bank of Australia – Cash Rate Decision: the overnight money market interest rate of Australia’s Reserve Bank was left unchanged at 4.75% since November 2010. Australia’s inflation rate continues to be near the Bank’s target inflation, and the unemployment rate near 5%; on the other hand the AUD/USD sharply fell during September, and this trend might affect the RBA’s rate decision (see here previous report);
  4. Tuesday 4th of October 14:00 – ECB conference Trichet speaks:  before the ECB announcement of its rate decision on Thursday, Trichet might provide some insight into what will be ECB’s decision. He will probably also refer to the recent decisions of European policymakers to increase the EFSF funds;
  5. Tuesday 4th of October 15:00 – Bernanke Testifies: following the announcement of FOMC plan to purchase LT securities and to sell ST securities to conclude by June 2012, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve is likely to address the stability and progress of US economy;
  6. Wednesday 5th of October 15.00 – U.S. ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI: This report will present the changes of non-manufacturing sector during September 2011. During August this index continued to grow with 53.3%, and it was slightly higher than in July as it reached 57.7%; this index might affect forex and commodities traders (see here last report).
  7. Wednesday 5th of October 15:30 – EIA Report on Crude Oil Stockpiles: the EIA (Energy Information Administration) will publish its weekly report on the U.S Petroleum market for the week ending on September 30th; last week, the US petroleum & oil stockpiles bounced back and slightly inclined by 1.1 million barrels to 1,775.1 million barrels (see here the recent crude oil market review);
  8. Thursday 6th of October 13:30 – ECB conference Trichet Speaks and Euro Rate Decision: This rate decision will be Jean Claude Trichet‘s, President of the European Central Bank, last one as President. Last month ECB kept the interest rate unchanged at 1.5%. According to the recent Euro Area inflation rate report, the rate remained at 2.5% (annual terms) in August, but the Euro Area is still facing dire times vis-à-vis the debt crisis. To help banks with their liquidity problems, ECB and Fed offered USD based loans to banks until the end of the year. Especially since there are pressures to lower the ECB interest rate. If ECB will lower interest rates it is likely to lower the Euros to US dollar exchange rate, and thus may help rally gold prices;
  9. Thursday 6th of October tentative – Bank of Japan – Rate Decision and Monetary Policy Statement: This statement will present Bank of Japan’s rate decision and other monetary related decisions. In the recent statement the bank kept the interest rate at 0 to 0.1 percent. The upcoming statement could offer some insight to the economic progress of Japan following the tsunami attack back in March 2011. Japan is among the leading countries in importing commodities such as gold, crude oil and natural gas;
  10. Thursday 6th of October 13:30 – Department of Labor Report – U.S. Unemployment Claims: For the week ending on September 23rd, initial claims declined by 37,000 to 391,000 claims; for the week ending on September 17th, the number of insured unemployment was 3.749 million, a decrease of 20,000 compared with the previous week’s (see here my recent review on the US Labor market);
  11. Thursday 6th of October 15:30 – EIA report on U.S. Natural Gas Market: The EIA will publish its U.S. natural gas stocks, production and consumption report for the week ending on September 30th. In the recent report, natural gas storage rose for the twenty-fifth straight week by 3.5% or by 111 Bcf to 3,312 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states – 0.2% above the 5-year average (see here my recent natural gas storage review);
  12. Friday 9th of October 12:00 – Canada Unemployment Rate and Employment Report: In the previous employment report for August 2011, unemployment slightly inclined by 0.1 percent points to 7.3%; the main decreases were in the construction sector with 24,000 falls, and transportation and warehousing with 14,000 decreases. If the upcoming report will show an improvement in the labor report in Canada in September, this might strengthen the Canadian dollar against the USD and consequently might affect the prices of energy commodities that Canada export including crude oil and natural gas prices (see here previous report);
  13. Friday 7th of October 13.30 – U.S. Unemployment Rate Report & Non-farm Employment Change: in the recent September report regarding August, the number of non-farm payroll employment remained unchanged; the US unemployment rate also remained unchanged at 9.1%; the last report didn’t show any improvement and may have helped gold and silver prices to increase during the first few days of September; there are speculations that the upcoming report regarding September 2011 won’t show an improvement than the previous month. This report could affect not only the US dollar, but also major commodities prices such as gold and silver prices (see my last review on the US employment report).


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