Weekly outlook for 21-25 March

Here is a weekly forecast for March 21st to 25th presenting the main news items, reports and events scheduled for this week related to US, Canada and Europe.

Besides these reports that might affect the commodities markets, the main news items that will continue to stir up the financial markets are the Allies’ attacks on Libya and the adverse affects of the tsunami and earthquakes on Japan, including the nuclear meltdown threat in Fukushima (see here for further elaborations). As the week will progress, Trading NRG will update on these news items and examine their affect on energy and precious metal’s prices such as crude oil price and gold prices.

(all times GMT):

  1. Monday 21st of March 15.00 – ECB president’s speech: Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, will talk with ECON Members about two main topics: Interaction of bank and sovereign debt resolution and Eurobonds – Concepts and Implications. The talks will also address  the reform of economic governance in the EU and in the euro area;
  2. Tuesday 22nd of March 13.30 – Core retails sales Canada (January 2011): This report shows the main changes that occurred in the retails sales in Canada during the month of January 2011. In the previous report pertaining December 2010, retails sales fell by 0.2% to 37.37$ billion; this fall is after sales rose for six consecutive months (see here the full report);
  3. Wednesday 23rd of March 15.30 – EIA report about Crude oil inventories: The EIA (Energy Information Administration) will issue its weekly report on the changes in gasoline, propane and crude oil prices in the U.S. Last week’s report showed petroleum stocks fell for the fifth straight week; last week they have declined by 0.3%, a decrease of nearly 5.1 million barrels of crude oil to reach 1,766 million barrels. (see here my previous review on crude oil stocks);
  4. Wednesday 23rd of March 18.00 – Chairman of Fed – Ben Bernanke’s speech: The Fed chairman will address in his upcoming speech about “Community Banking in a Period of Recovery and Change”. In his previous speech, Bernanke talked about the challenges the State and Local Government face in times of economic slowdown and how does the stimulus plan of the Federal Reserve affects the US economy  (see here my analysis on the Fed’s policy);
  5. Thursday 24th of March 13.30 – Department of Labor report – US unemployment claims: For the week ending on Mar 12th, the report showed a fall in initial claims by 16,000, to reach 385,000 claims; the insured unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.0% for the week ending on Mar 5th; finally, the number of insured unemployment was 3.706 million, a drop of 80,000 compare to the previous week;
  6. Thursday 24th of March 13.30 – US Department of Commerce – Report on Durable Goods: This monthly report shows the changes in orders of durable goods in the US in the manufacturing sector. During January 2011, the Census showed an incline in manufactured durable goods by $5.3 billion or 2.7% to $200.5 billion; Non-defense new orders for capital goods increased by $2.9 billion or 4.6% to $66.3 billion (for the full report);
  7. Thursday 24th of March 15.30 – EIA report about Natural gas storage: The EIA will also issue its weekly report on the changes in natural gas storage, production and consumption in the US for this passing week. In the recent EIA report natural gas storage reached a total of 1,618 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states, a drop of 3.3%, or 56 billion cubic feet from the previous week. (see here my previous natural gas storage review);
  8. Friday 25th of March 10.00 – Monetary developments in the euro area: This monthly report shows the changes in M3, M1 and loans to private sector in the Euro area. This upcoming report will refer to February 2011. In the last report pertaining January, the annual growth rate for M3 declined to 1.5%, from 1.7% annual rate in December 2010. Furthermore, the annual growth rate of loans to private sector inclined from 1.9% in December to 2.4% in January. These data show a decline in economic activity along in the Euro Area that could influence investors’ perspective on the economic condition of the EURO zone (see here the last report);
  9. Friday 25th of March 13:30– US GDP 4Q report: This will be a third estimate report pertaining fourth quarter GDP of US. In the second estimate the 4Q2010 GDP growth rate was 2.8%, while 3Q was 2.6% and 2Q2010 was 1.7%. If there won’t be much of a change in the 4Q2010 estimate then this will present a steady rising trend in GDP in the US (for the second estimate of 4Q GDP).
  10. Friday- Saturday 25-26 of March– EU Economic Summit: This upcoming summit, which will comprise of all 27 European countries, will address how European Union banks will need to disclose their sovereign debt holdings as part of stress test; in the summit Ireland will seek a better deal for the 67.5 EUR billion in loans it received from EU and IMF; due to the recent turmoil in Japan and Libya these issues will also be addressed in this summit.




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