Weekly Outlook for 27 February – 2 March

During last week major commodities prices made a comeback and sharply rose during most of the week including gold, silver and crude oil prices. The conclusion (for the time being) of EU-Greece standoff which resulted in EU leaders approving the next bailout package for Greece brought some stability to the markets and may have helped rally the Euro along with major commodities. In the upcoming week there are many news items and publications that might influence traders including: U.S. pending home sales report, Bernanke’s testimony, a G20 summit, China’s manufacturing PMI, U.S Consumer confidence report, U.S.’s manufacturing PMI and U.S. unemployment claims. Here is an economic news calendar outlook for the week of February 27th to March 2nd that highlights the main news items related to the U.S., Canada, EU, Australia, China and Switzerland.   

(All times GMT):

  1. Sunday 26th of February All day – G20 Meeting;
  2. Monday 27th of February 09:00 – Euro Area Monetary Development: This monthly report will show the development of the M3, M1 and loans to private sector in the Euro area during January 2012. In the previous December report, the annual growth rate for M3 sharply fell to 1.6%. The M1 also declined to 1.6%. Finally, the annual growth rate of loans to private sector fell to 1.0% in December. If the M1 and M3 will continue to fall in February  report it could serve as another indicator for the slowdown in the  Euro Area inflation and economic activity, and it  may affect next month’s ECB’s interest rate decision (see here the last report);
  3. Monday 27th of February 15:00 – U.S. Pending Home Sales: This report present the changes in pending home sales in the U.S. for January 2012; in the recent December report the pending home sales index fell by 3.5% compared with November’s index. These data are another indicator for the shifts in America’s real estate market;
  4. Tuesday 28th of February 13:30 – U.S Department of Commerce – Core Durable Goods Report: This monthly report will examine the developments in U.S. orders of durable goods in the manufacturing sector during December 2011. This report may indirectly present the changes in U.S. demand for commodities including crude oil. According to a flash estimate for December 2011, manufactured durable goods sharply increased by $6.2 billion to $214.5 billion; Non-defense new orders for capital goods also rose by $4.6 billion to $84.4 billion;
  5. Tuesday 28th of February 15:00 – U.S Consumer Confidence: according to the previous report, the consumer confidence index slipped in January compared with December’s index. The current expectations are that this index might change direction and rally in the February index since the U.S. economy has shown some signs of progress; this report might affect commodities market especially the natural gas market;
  6. Wednesday 29th of February 10:30 – KOF Economic Barometer: this report offers an estimate of the Swiss economy in the months to come. In the previous  press release, the report predicted the Swiss Economy is headed towards a stagnation in 2012;
  7. Wednesday 29th of February 10:00 – Euro Area Annual Inflation (February): the inflation in Euro Area reached 2.7% in January, while to core CPI reached 1.6%. If the upcoming inflation rate estimate will continue to decline, it may raise the chances of an additional ECB interest rate reduction;
  8. Wednesday 29th of February 13:30 – Second U.S GDP 4Q 2011 Estimate: This will be the second estimate of U.S’s fourth quarter 2011 real GDP growth. In the first estimate for 4Q2011 the GDP growth rate reached 2.8%, compared with 1.8% increase at 3Q2011. This shows a slight increase in the growth rate for the US’s GDP. If the GDP growth rate in the fourth quarter will bet higher than in the first estimate it could have substantial influence on forex and commodities traders;
  9. Wednesday 29th of February 15:00 – Bernanke Testifies: following the recent FOMC decision to lengthen the pledge of keeping rates low until late 2014, the speculations around another stimulus plan remains high. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve will testify before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, of the U.S. Senate; the title of the speech is ” the Housing Market”;
  10. Wednesday 29th of February 15:30 – EIA Petroleum Stockpiles Report: the EIA (Energy Information Administration) will be published its weekly update on the U.S oil and petroleum stockpiles for the week ending on February 24th; in the previous report, the U.S petroleum & oil stockpiles rose by 3.2 million barrels to 1,754.87 million barrels (see here the recent oil stockpiles review);
  11. Wednesday 29th of February 2:00– China Manufacturing PMI: according to the Manufacturing PMI report regarding January the Manufacturing PMI bounced back and rose to 50.5 which is a 0.2 percent point gain compared with December’s index of 50.3; this index indicates the changes in the growth rate of China’s manufacturing sectors; if this upward trend will continue, this might also positively affect commodities prices;
  12. Thursday 1st of March 13:30 – Department of Labor Report – U.S. Unemployment Claims: initial claims remained unchanged at 324,000 claims for the week ending on February 17th; the number of insured unemployment decreased by 52k to 3.392 million during the week of February 11th; the upcoming weekly update might affect the forex and commodities markets;
  13. Thursday 1st of March 15:00 – Bernanke Testifies: following his testimony on Wednesday, Bernanke is set to testify again on Thursday before the Committee on Financial Services, of the U.S. House of Representatives; the title of the speech is ” Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress” ;
  14. Thursday 1st of March 15:00 – U.S. ISM Manufacturing PMI: This report will present the monthly development in the manufacturing sector on a national level during February 2012. During January  2012 the index increased to 54.1% a 1 percent point gain compared with December’s index; this index might affect forex, crude oil and natural gas markets (see here my review of last report);
  15. Thursday 1st of March 15:30 – EIA U.S. Natural Gas Market Report: this EIA weekly update of the U.S. natural gas market will show the recent changes for the week ending on February 24th regarding natural gas production, storage, consumption and price developments. In the recent report, natural gas storage  fell by 166 Bcf to 2,595 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states (see here the recent review on the natural gas market);
  16. Friday 2nd of March 13:30 – Canada’s GDP by Industry: the report will show the changes in major industrial sectors for December 2011. In the previous report regarding November 2011, the real gross domestic product edged down by 0.1%. This report might affect the trading on the Canadian dollar currency and consequently commodities prices (for the full previous report).


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