Weekly Outlook for 16-20 April 2012

Following the slow paced week in the financial markets in which major commodities and U.S stock markets started off the week declining while precious metals prices rising on account of the weaker than expected (but not that bad) U.S labor report, thus week there will be many more items on the agenda that could stir up the markets. Among the news items on the agenda are: U.S. retails sales report, U.S housing starts, Canada’s rate decision, ECB President speech, MPC meeting, Philly Fed Manufacturing Index, U.S existing home sales report and U.S. jobless claims. Here is an economic news calendar outlook for the week of April 16th to 20th that highlights news items regarding to the U.S., Canada, EU, Australia, and Great Britain.   

(All times GMT):

April 16th

  • Monday 13:30 –U.S. Retail Sales Report: this report will present the monthly changes in the retail sales and food services for March 2012; in the recent report regarding February, the retail sales increased by 1.1% from the previous month; gasoline stations sales also increased by 1.4% in February compared with January 2011; this report could signal the development in U.S’s gasoline demand and thus may affect crude oil prices (for my review of the recent retail sales report).
  • Monday 14:00 – U.S. TIC Long Term Purchases: The Treasury International Capital report will show the main changes in the purchases and sales of US long term treasuries in February 2012. In the previous report regarding January 2012, the net foreign purchases of U.S Treasuries longer-term notes reached $101 billion;
  • Monday 17:30 – FOMC member Pianalto Speaks: I don’t usual point out to speeches of FOMC members expect of Bernanke’s however in preparation to the April FOMC meeting, this speech might revel another FOMC member’s opinion in regards to the recent developments in the U.S’s economy and the FOMC policy including the low rates and possible QE3; if Pianalto will hint of another QE program or will talk about the slow recovery of the U.S labor force, this news could affect not only the U.S dollar (depreciate the dollar), but also gold and silver prices (positively affect bullion);
  • Monday 00:30 – 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 keep the basic interest rate flat at 4.25%; this rate decision may affect the Australian dollar currency and consequently major commodities prices including crude oil and gold prices;

April 17th

  • Tuesday 09:30 – Great Britain CPI: this report will show the yearly rate of GB’s consumer price index for March 2012; some expect the March inflation will be lower than in recent months; in the recent report regarding February the annual CPI slipped from 3.6% to 3.4%; this news may affect the path of the British pound;
  • Tuesday 10:00 –German ZEW economic sentiment: The upcoming publication will refer to the ZEW indicator of economic sentiment for Germany for April 2012. During March 2012 the ZEW indicator for Germany increased to 22.3; as Germany’s economy is keep showing progress, the Euro will probably remain strong against other currencies;
  • Tuesday 10:00 –Euro Area ZEW economic sentiment: The upcoming publication will refer to the ZEW indicator of economic sentiment for Euro Area for April 2012. For March 2012 the ZEW indicator for Euro Area increased to 11;
  • Tuesday 10:00 – Euro Area Annual Inflation (March): the inflation in Euro Area reached 2.6% in March (flash report). If the upcoming inflation rate estimate will confirm the flash report’s figure, it may raise the chances of an additional ECB interest rate cut in the next ECB rate decision or at least another LTRO program or resume the securities markets programme (SMP);
  • Tuesday 13:30 – U.S. Housing Starts: the U.S Census Bureau will publish the U.S housing starts report for March 2012; this report was historically linked with gold price – as housing starts decreased, gold prices tended to increase the following day (even when controlling to the U.S dollar effect); in the previous report, the adjusted annual rate reached 698,000 in February 2012, which was 1.1% below January’s rate of 706,000;

Tuesday 13:30 – U.S. Building Permits: The previous report building permits rose by 5.1% (M-o-M) in the adjusted annual rate of building permits and reached 682,000 in February 2012. If this report will continue to show a rise in the building permits rate, it may indicate that the U.S housing market is slowly recovering from its slowdown  (the recent U.S building permits and housing starts review);

  • Tuesday 14:00 – Bank of Canada’s Overnight Rate: The Bank of Canada will publish its decision vis-à-vis the overnight interest rate, which remained flat at 1% in the previous decision. The BOC may continue its policy of keeping the interest rate unchanged;
  • Tuesday 17:00 – ECB President Draghi Speaks: Following the April ECB rate decision in which the rate remained unchanged at 1% the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi will speak and may refer in his speech to the recent events in Spain and may talk about the ECB’s plan to calm the markets including implementing LTRO 3 or resuming the SMP. His speech may influence the direction of the Euro/USD currencies pair;

April 18th

  • Wednesday 09:30 – MPC Meeting Minutes: Following the recent MPC meeting, in which it was announced the rate will remain flat at 0.5% and the asset purchase program will remain at £325 billion, the minutes of the meeting might offer some perspective behind this decision and perhaps hint of the next steps of the MPC;
  • Wednesday 15:30 – U.S Crude Oil Stockpiles Report: the EIA (Energy Information Administration) will publish its weekly report on the U.S oil and petroleum stockpiles for the week ending on April 13th; in the previous report for April 6th, stockpiles declined by 3.9 million bbl to 1,765.9 million bl;

April 19th

  • Thursday 13:30 – U.S. Department of Labor– Jobless Claims Weekly Update:  this weekly update will refer to the changes in the initial jobless claims for the week ending on April 14th; in the previous report the jobless claims rose to 380,000; this upcoming weekly update may affect the strength of the US dollar and consequently commodities prices;
  • Thursday 15:00 – U.S. Existing Home Sales: This report will refer to the developments in U.S. existing home sales during March 2012; in the recent report regarding February 2012 the number of homes sold decreased: the seasonally adjusted annual rate reached 4.59 million home sales – a 0.9% decline; if this trend will continue it may weaken the U.S dollar (for the recent existing home sales review);
  • Thursday 15:00 – Philly Fed Manufacturing Index: This monthly survey provides an estimate for the progress of the US economy as it measures the manufacturing conditions. In the previous March survey, the growth rate moderately rose from ++10.2 in February to +12.5 in March 2012. If this trend will continue this index may affect not only U.S Dollar but also American stock indexes, oil and gold prices (the recent Philly Fed review);
  • Thursday 15:30 – Bank of Canada’s Monetary Policy and Press Conference (at 16:15): The Bank of Canada will publish its monetary policy report and also hold up a press conference; if there will be major headlines coming from this press conference it could affect the Canadian dollar;
  • Thursday 15:30 – EIA U.S. Natural Gas Storage Report: this EIA weekly report regarding the U.S. natural gas market will update on the recent changes natural gas production, storage, consumption and price developments for the week ending on April 13th; in the recent update, natural gas storage slightly rose by 8 Bcf to 2487 Bcf; if the natural gas storage will keep on rising, it may continue adversely affecting the prices of natural gas in the U.S;

April 20th

  • Friday 09:00 – German Business Climate Survey: This survey projects the developments (on a monthly basis) of the business climate of Germany. In the precious report regarding March 2012, the business climate index continued to increase from 109.6 in February to 109.8 in March; if this upward trend will continue, it could positively affect the Euro;
  • Friday 13:00 – Canada’s Core CPI: This report will refer to the core consumer price index during March 2012 when controlling the volatile components such as energy, fruit and vegetables. According to the Canadian CPI report for February 2012, the CPI rose by 2.6% during the past 12 month up to February – this is a higher rate than in January; the core CPI excluding food and energy rose by 1.7% from February 2011 to February 2012. This report could affect the direction of Canadian dollar, which is also strongly correlated with commodities prices;

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