Weekly Outlook for 26-30 March 2012

This week there are many important events, decisions and publications that may affect forex and commodities markets. Among the reports and new items to be published are: U.S. pending home sales report, GB current account, U.S. final GDP, GB final GDP, Canada’s GDP, Bernanke’s speech, EU monetary  development, German business climate, China’s manufacturing PMI, and U.S. unemployment claims. Here is an economic news calendar outlook for the week of March 26th to March 30th that highlights news items regarding to the U.S., Canada, EU, Great Britain, and China.   

(All times GMT):

  • Monday 26th of March 09:00 – German Business Climate Survey: This survey estimates the developments (on a monthly basis) of the business climate of Germany. In the recent report regarding February 2012, the business climate index continued to rise from 108.3 in January to 109.6 in February; if this upward trend will continue, it could positively affect  the Euro;
  • Monday 26th of March 13:00 – Bernanke Speech: following the FOMC meeting of March the Chairman of the Federal Reserve will give a speech regarding the US labor market that may affect the direction of forex and commodities markets. The title of the speech is “Recent Developments in the Labor Market”;
  • Monday 26th of March 15:00 – U.S. Pending Home Sales: This report shows the changes in pending home sales in the U.S. for February 2012; in the recent report the pending home sales index rose by 2% compared with the previous month’s index. These data are another indicator for the developments in America’s real estate market; based on last week’s results on housing sales (new and existing) the pending sales may also decline. In such a case US dollar may weaken;
  • Monday 26th of March 17:00 – ECB President Draghi Speaks: Following the March ECB rate decision in which the rate remained flat at 1% the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi will give a speech. He may refer to the recent Greek debt crisis and the progress of the EU economy. His speech may influence the direction of the Eur/USD currencies pair;


  • Tuesday 27th of March 15:00 – U.S Consumer Confidence: according to the recent report, the consumer confidence index increased in February compared with January’s index. The current expectations are that this index may change direction and decline in the March index despite the U.S. economy’s signs of progress; this report might affect commodities market especially the natural gas market;
  • Tuesday 27th of March 17:45 – Bernanke Speech: The Chairman of the Federal Reserve will give another speech this week. The speech is part of four piece lecture series. The title of this speech is “The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis” Part 3″;

  • Wednesday 28th of March 09:00 – Euro Area Monetary Development: This monthly report will present the development of the M3, M1 and loans to private sector in the Euro area during February 2012. In the previous January report, the annual growth rate for M3 sharply rose to 2.5%. The M1 also increased to 2.0%. Finally, the annual growth rate of loans to private sector slightly rose to 1.1% in January. If the M1 and M3 will continue to rise in March  report it could serve as another indicator for the rising inflation pressures  in the  Euro Area, and it  may affect next month’s ECB’s interest rate decision;
  • Wednesday 28th of March 09:30 – Great Britain Current Account: This will report will show recent changes in the balance of payment of Great Britain that reached in the recent report to 15.2 billion pound; this report may affect the GBP/USD exchange rate;
  • Wednesday 28th of March 09:30 – Great Britain Updated GDP 4Q 2011: This will be the final projection of the fourth quarter real GDP of GB. In the previous estimate of the GDP for the 4Q2011 contracted by 0.2%; if the final report will show a unlikely sharp change in estimate, it may affect the GBP/USD exchange rate;
  • Wednesday 28th of March 13:30 – U.S Core Durable Goods: This monthly report will examine the changes in U.S. orders of durable goods in the manufacturing sector during February 2012. This report may indirectly present the changes in U.S. demand for commodities including crude oil. According to a estimate for January 2012, manufactured durable goods sharply decreased by $8.6billion to $206.1 billion; Non-defense new orders for capital goods also declined by $5.6 billion to $79.5 billion;  if this report will continue to be negative then it could weaken the US dollar and also affect the direction of gold oil and silver prices;
  • Wednesday 28th 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 23rd; in the previous report, the U.S petroleum & oil stockpiles edged up by 1.5 million barrels to 1,751.1 million barrels (the recent oil stockpiles review);




  • Thursday 29th of March 13:30 – Final U.S GDP 4Q 2011 Estimate: This will be the final estimate of U.S’s fourth quarter 2011 real GDP growth. In the recent estimate the U.S GDP in the fourth quarter rose by 3%; in the 3Q2011 the GDP growth rate was 1.8%, compared with 1.3% increase at 2Q2011. This shows a slight increase in the growth rate for the US’s GDP. The current expectations are that the growth rate in the fourth quarter will remain high. if there will be a sharp shift in this estimate it could also affect the path of not only the US dollar but also commodities prices (for the previous estimate of US 4Q GDP).
  • Thursday 29th of March 13:30 – U.S. Department of Labor– Jobless Claims Weekly Update: initial claims decreased to 348,000 claims for the week ending on March 17th; the number of insured unemployment declined by 9 thousand to 3,352 thousand during the week of March 10th; the upcoming weekly update may affect the direction of the US dollar and consequently prices of commodities;
  • Thursday 29th 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 23rd. In the recent report, natural gas storage slightly rose by 11 Bcf to 2,380 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states (the previous review on the natural gas report);
  • Thursday 29th of March 17:45 – Bernanke Speech: The speech is part of four piece lecture series. The title of this speech is “The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis” Part 4″;

  • Friday 30th of March 08:00 – KOF Economic Barometer: this report offers an estimate of the Swiss economy in the months to come. In the previous press release, the barometer predicted the Swiss Economy isn’t headed toward a slowdown and starts to show some signs of recovery;
  • Friday 30th of March 10:00 – Euro Area Flash Estimate of Annual Inflation: the inflation in Euro Area reached 2.7% in February. If the upcoming inflation rate estimate will change direction and rise, it may lower the chances of an additional ECB interest rate reduction;
  • Friday 30th of March 13:30 – Canada’s GDP by Industry: the report will show the changes in major industrial sectors for January 2012. In the previous report regarding December 2011, the real gross domestic product edged up by 0.4% and the same rate was for the fourth quarter of 2011. This report may affect the trading on the Canadian dollar currency and consequently commodities prices (for the full report);


  • Saturday 31st of March 2:00– China Manufacturing PMI: this index will refer to the Manufacturing conditions in China; in the previous report the manufacturing PMI edged up to 51; if this upward trend will continue, this may also positively affect commodities prices;

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