Weekly Outlook for 5-9 March

Following the sharp changes in commodities prices, mainly gold and silver prices, during last week due, in part, to the speculation around the next steps of the FOMC on QE3 and the recent release of the second LTRO rescue plan by ECB, this week there are many important news, events, decisions and reports that could stir up the forex and commodities markets. Among these news items and publications are: ECB rate decision, U.S. non-farm payroll report, Canada’s employment report, U.S. factory orders, China’s CPI, Australia’s GDP U.S.’s non-manufacturing PMI and U.S. unemployment claims. Here is an economic news calendar forecast for the week of March 5th to March 9th that highlights the main news items related to the U.S., Canada, EU, Australia and China.   

(All times GMT):

  • Monday 5th of March 15:00 – U.S. ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI: This report will show the developments in the non-manufacturing sector during February 2012. During January 2012 this index moderately rose to 56.8%; this index may affect forex and commodities trading (see here the recent report);
  • Monday 5th of March 15:00 – U.S Factory Orders: This report will present the changes in U.S. factory orders of manufactured durable goods during December. According to the recent flash report, during January new orders of manufactured durable goods slipped by $8.6 billion to $206.1 billion;


  • Tuesday 6th of March 10:00– Revised Euro Area GDP 4Q2011: This will be a revised version of the recent report. According to the recent report during the fourth quarter of 2011, the Euro Area GDP declined by 0.3% (Q-o-Q). if the upcoming report will present a much different figure it could affect the Euro (see here recent report);
  • Tuesday 6th of March 2:30 – Australian GDP Fourth Quarter 2011: This quarterly report will show the change in Australia’s GDP growth rate in the fourth quarter 2011. In Q3 2011, the GDP expanded by 1.0% in annual terms (seasonally adjusted). Australia is among the leading non-OPEC countries in exporting crude oil and this report could offer some insight to the progress of the Australian economy and consequently affect Aussie dollar (see here last report);

  • Wednesday 7th of March 12:00 – German Factory orders: this report will show the changes in the Germany factory orders during February; this news  could indicate the progress of the German Economy and consequently may affect foreign exchange and commodities traders;
  • Wednesday 7th of March 13:15 – ADP estimate of U.S. non-farm payroll: ADP will estimate the U.S employment development during the month of February 2012 in anticipation for the upcoming no-farm report to be published on Friday;
  • Wednesday 7th of March 15:30 – EIA Crude Oil Stockpiles Report: the EIA (Energy Information Administration) will publish its weekly update on the U.S oil and petroleum stockpiles for the week ending on March 2nd; in the last report, the U.S petroleum & oil stockpiles slightly increased by 0.5 million barrels to 1,755.41 million barrels (see here the recent oil stockpiles review);


  • Thursday 8th of March 12:45 – 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 flat at 1%; as of January, the Euro Area inflation rate edged down to an annual rate of 2.7%, while the EU unemployment rose to 10.7% and the EU GDP in the fourth quarter fell by 0.3% . This means the EU economy is still not out of the woods. The recent LTRO plan may have been among the reasons for the deprecation of the Euro during last week. If ECB will reduce interest rates it is likely to pressure further down the Euro to US dollar exchange rate;
  • Thursday 8th of March 13:30 – Department of Labor Report – U.S. Unemployment Claims: initial claims edged down to 353,000 claims for the week ending on February 25th; the number of insured unemployment slipped by 2,000 to 3.402 million during the week of February 18th; the upcoming weekly update might affect the forex and commodities markets;
  • Thursday 8th of March 15:30 – EIA U.S. Natural Gas Market Report: this EIA weekly update of the U.S. natural gas market will present the recent changes natural gas production, storage, consumption and price developments for the week ending on March 2nd. In the previous report, natural gas storage  declined by 82 Bcf to 2,513 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states (see here the recent review on the natural gas market);
  • Thursday 8th of March 2:30 – Australian Trade Balance: The upcoming report will pertain January 2012. In the December report, the seasonally adjusted balance of goods and services rose from a surplus of $1,343 million in November 2011 to $1,709 million in December. The export of non-monetary gold sharply rose by $457 million (31%); if the gold exports will continue to rally in January, it might suggest a rise in demand for non-monetary gold that could explain the rise in gold prices (see here last report);
  • Thursday 8th of March 3:30 – Chinese CPI: during January, the Chinese inflation rate slightly rose to an annual rate of 4.5% (it was 4.1% in December); this rate is still close to China’s inflation target of 4% in annual terms. If the inflation will start to rise again it could induce the People Bank of China’s to take steps to slowdown the inflation; this, in turn could curb China’s economic progress; China is among the leading countries in importing commodities such as gold and oil;


  • Friday 9th of March 12:00 – Canada Unemployment Rate and Employment Report: In the previous employment report for January 2012, unemployment edged up 0.1 percent points to 7.6%; the employment rose by 18k. the upcoming report might affect the Canadian dollar and consequently also affect the prices of energy commodities including crude oil and natural gas prices  – seeing that Canada is among the leading exporters of these commodities to the U.S (see here the recent report);
  • Friday 9th of March 13:30 –Canadian Trade Balance: In the February  report regarding  December 2011, exports increased by 4.5%, and imports edged up by 0.8%; as a result, the trade balance rose to a surplus of $2.7 billion; this report may affect the trading of the Canadian dollar which tends to be strongly correlated with price of gold and crude oil;
  • Friday 9th of March 13:30 –American Trade Balance: This monthly report for January 2012 will present the developments 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 December 2011 the goods and services deficit increased during the month to $48.8 billion.
  • Friday 9th of March 13:30 – U.S. Unemployment Rate Report & Non-farm Employment Change: in the recent February report regarding January 2012, the labor market continued to  improve as the number of non-farm payroll employment expanded by 243k; the U.S unemployment rate slipped to 8.5%; this report might affect not only the U.S dollar, but also gold and silver prices (see here my last review on the U.S employment report).


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