Weekly Outlook for 6-10 February

Following the low intensity week for major commodities as gold and silver prices didn’t do much during the first week of February, the upcoming week is filled with many news items and decisions to be made that could affect the direction of forex and commodities prices. These items include: U.S. trade balance report, Bernanke’s testimony in the Senate, the G20 summit, ECB rate decision, China’s CPI and trade balance reports, and BOE rate decision. Here is an economic news calendar outlook for the week of February 6th to February 10th that highlights the main news items related to the U.S., Australia, EU, Switzerland, Great Britain, Canada and China.   

(All times GMT):

  1. Monday 6th of February 08:00 – Swiss National Bank Forex Reserves: the central bank of Switzerland will release the total value of its foreign currencies reserves during January;
  2. Monday 6th of February 12:00 – German Factory orders: this report will present the changes in the Germany factory orders during January; this news  could indicate the progress of the German Economy and consequently could affect foreign exchange and commodities traders;
  3. Monday 6th of February 4:30 – Reserve Bank of Australia – Cash Rate Statement: the overnight money market interest rate of Australia’s Reserve Bank remained unchanged at 4.75% since November 2010. Australia’s CPI is above the Bank’s target inflation, but the unemployment rate is still at 5% rate; the AUD/USD sharply rose during January by 4%, this trend might affect RBA’s rate decision (see here the last report);
  4. Tuesday 7th of February 11:00 – German Industrial Production: this report will present the growth during December of Germany’s industrial production and could indicate the progress of the German Economy and consequently may influence the direction of the Euro and commodities prices;
  5. Tuesday 7th of February 15:00 – Bernanke Testifies: following the Chairman of the Federal Reserve testimony, which was held last week, and the recent FOMC meeting to lengthen the pledge of low rates until late 2014, the upcoming testimony will be before the committee on the budget, U.S. Senate regarding the economic outlook and the Fed’s situation. This testimony might  offer some insight to the future steps on the Fed and whether another QE program is on the table;
  6. Wednesday 8th of February 15:30 – EIA Crude Oil Market Report: the EIA (Energy Information Administration) will be published with its weekly report regarding the U.S oil and petroleum market for the week ending on February 3rd; in last week’s report, the U.S petroleum & oil stockpiles rose by 8.4 million barrels to 1,751.7 million barrels (see here the recent oil stockpiles review);
  7. Wednesday 8th of February 3:30 – Chinese CPI: during November, the Chinese inflation rate sharply declined to an annual rate of 4.2% (it was 5.5% in October); this rate is coming very close to China’s inflation target of 4% in annual terms. The sharp drop in the inflation rate is probably an indication of the effect of the steps taken by the People Bank of China’s to curb the inflation pressures; this might also indicate an economic slowdown in China; China is among the leading countries in importing commodities such as gold and oil;
  8. Thursday 9th of February 09:30 – Great Britain Manufacturing Production : this monthly report will present the monthly changes in the British manufacturing production for December; in the previous report regarding November  the seasonally adjusted manufacturing index fell by 0.2% (M-2-M), and the index of production also fell by 0.6%; this news may influence GBP traders;
  9. Thursday 9th of February 12:00 – Great Britain Bank Rate & Asset Purchase Plan : Bank of England will decide on its basic rate for January 2012 and the progress of its asset purchase plan; as of January the BOE’s rate flat at 0.5% and the asset purchase plan of £275 billion continued;
  10. Thursday 9th of February 13:30 – ECB Press Conference and Euro Rate Decision: In last month’s rate decision the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi kept the rate unchanged at 1%; as of December, the Euro Area inflation rate slipped to an annual rate of 2.8%. This means the low rate doesn’t seem to cause high inflation pressures (for now). Since the EU economic condition is still unclear vis-à-vis its debt crisis, in the upcoming ECB rate decision there might be talks of another rate cut.  If ECB will cut again interest rates it is likely to pressure down the Euro to US dollar exchange rate;
  11. Thursday 9th of February 13:30 – Department of Labor Report – U.S. Unemployment Claims: initial claims fell by 12,000 to 367,000 claims for the week ending on January 28th; the number of insured unemployment also decreased by 43k to 3.52 million during the week of January 21st; the upcoming weekly update could influence the commodities market;
  12. Thursday 9th of February 15:30 – EIA U.S. Natural Gas Market Report: this weekly report of the EIA on U.S. natural gas market will present the recent developments for the week ending on February 3rd on natural gas production, storage, consumption and price development. In the last report, natural gas storage  declined by 132 Bcf to 2,966 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states (see here the recent review on the natural gas market);
  13. Thursday 9th of February tentative –China’s Trade Balance: China’s trade surplus reached a surplus of  $16.5 billion last month; this report could indicate the status of China’s economic growth;
  14. Friday 10th of February 09:30 – Great Britain PPI Input: this report will present the yearly rate of GB’s producer price index for January 2011; in the last report regarding December the input price fell by 0.7% (M-2-M); this news may influence British Pound traders;
  15. Friday 10th of February 13:30 –Canadian Trade Balance: In the January report regarding  November 2011, exports increased by 3.2%, and imports fell by 0.8%; as a result, the trade balance rose from $487 million deficit in October to a surplus of $1.1 billion in November; this report may affect the direction of the Canadian dollar which tends to be strongly correlated with price of gold and crude oil;
  16. Friday 10th of February 13:30 –American Trade Balance: This monthly report for December  2011 will show the changes in imports and exports of goods and services to and from the U.S, including commodities such as crude oil; The American trade balance report for November 2011 the goods deficit increased by $4.6 billion compared with October 2011 and reached $63.2 billion; the services surplus rose by $0.1 billion to $15.4 billion; as a result, the goods and services deficit increased during the month to $47.8 billion.
  17. Friday 10th of February 15:30 – Bernanke Speech: following Bernanke’s testimony earlier the week, he is also set to give a speech in Orlando, Florida regarding housing market;
  18. Friday 10th of February 19:00 –U.S. Federal Budget Balance: this upcoming publication will show the changes in the U.S federal balance for January 2012; this report indicates the government debt growth and thus may affect the U.S dollar. In the last report regarding December the deficit rose by $85 billion to a deficit of $321 billion for the fiscal year of 2012 (See here a summary of the recent report).
  19. Saturday 10th of February All day – G20 Meeting.


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