Weekly Outlook for 20-24 February

During last week the energy commodities prices rallied especially natural gas prices; many currencies including the Aussie dollar and Canadian dollar also appreciated against the US dollar; on the other hand, precious metals prices   and the Euro didn’t do much and basically zigzagged on a daily basis with no clear path. In the upcoming week there are several news items and publications that might affect the financial markets including: U.S. new home sales report, Governor Stevens testimony, a G20 summit, China’s manufacturing PMI, the minutes of the recent MPC meeting, U.S. existing home sales report and U.S. unemployment claims . Here is an economic news calendar outlook for the week of February 20th to February 24th that highlights the main news items related to the U.S., Canada, EU, Australia, China and Great Britain.   

(All times GMT):

  • Monday 20th of February 12:30 – 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 leave the Bank’s basic interest rate flat at 4.75%; this decision may affect the Aussie dollar currency and consequently major commodities prices including crude oil and gold prices (see here last rate decision);
  • Monday 20th of February 2:30 –Bank of Australia  Governor Stevens speaks: The governor of Reserve Bank of Australia will give a speech as part of a discussion panel in the Australian Securities Investments Commission;
  • Tuesday 21st of February 09:30 – Great Britain Net borrowing: this update will show the monthly changes in the public sector net borrowing for January 2012; as of December 2011, the net borrowing reached £13.7 billion;
  • Tuesday 21st of February 13:30 –Retails Sales Canada (December 2011): This report examines the development in the retails sales in Canada during December 2011. It may affect the USD/CAD exchange rate trading. In the recent report regarding November 2011, retails sales slightly increased by 0.3% to $38.7 billion (see here the full report);
  • Tuesday 21st of February 2:30– China flash Manufacturing PMI: this index will cover 800 companies in 20 industries in China; according to the HSBC Manufacturing PMI report regarding December 2011 the Manufacturing PMI slightly rose and reached 48.8; this index indicates the changes in China’s manufacturing sectors growth rate; if this upward trend will continue, this may also positively affect commodities prices;
  • Wednesday 22nd of February 09:00 – Euro Area Manufacturing PMI (January 2012): In the last flash report regarding January 2012, the Euro Zone Manufacturing PMI changed direction and reached 50.4 – a move toward the positive for the first time in five months. This report will provide an indicator to the economic development  of the Euro zone’s manufacturing conditions; this news, in turn might affect the Euro/USD exchange rate and consequently major commodities prices;
  • Wednesday 22nd of February 09:30 – MPC Meeting Minutes: Following the last MPC meeting, in which it was announced the rate will remain unchanged at 0.5% and the asset purchase program will increase by £50 billion to £325 billion, the minutes of the meeting might bring some perspective behind this decision regarding the next steps of the MPC;
  • Wednesday 22nd of February 15:00 – U.S. Existing Home Sales: This report will show the changes in U.S. existing home sales during January 2012; in the recent report regarding December the number of homes sold rose: the seasonally adjusted annual rate reached 4.61 million home sales compared with an annual rate of 4.39 million home sales in November 2011, a 5% gain (see here the recent review);
  • Wednesday 22nd of February 15:30 – EIA Crude Oil 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 17th; in the recent report, the U.S petroleum & oil stockpiles fell by 3.9 million barrels to 1,751.6 million barrels (see here the recent oil stockpiles review);
  • Thursday 23rd of February All day – G20 Meeting;
  • Thursday 23rd of February 13:30 – Department of Labor Report – U.S. Unemployment Claims: initial claims decreased by 13,000 to 348,000 claims for the week ending on February 11th; the number of insured unemployment also decreased by 100k to 3.426 million during the week of February 4th; the upcoming weekly update might affect the forex and commodities markets;
  • Thursday 23rd of February 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 17th regarding natural gas production, storage, consumption and price developments. In the recent report, natural gas storage  declined by 127 Bcf to 2,761 billion cubic feet for all lower 48 states (see here the recent review on the natural gas market);
  • Thursday 23rd of February 23:30 –Bank of Australia  Governor Stevens speaks: governor Stevens will testify in the House of Representatives regarding the economic condition and outlook of the Australian economy;
  • Friday 24th of February 09:30 – GB revised GDP Q4 2011: This report will present the revised quarterly growth rate of the British economy during the last quarter of 2011; according to the preliminary estimate the fourth quarter contracted by 0.2%(Q-2-Q); if this report will be much different than the preliminary estimate it might affect the GBP;
  • Friday 24th of February 15:00 – U.S. New Home Sales: This report will show the changes in new home sales  January 2012; in the recent report (December 2011), the sales of new homes reached an annual rate of 307,000 – a 2.2% increase compared with the number of new homes sold in November 2011; the sales in December 2011 was 7.3% above the home sales rate in December 2010; if the number of home sales will show an increase in the upcoming report, it may further indicate a rally in the U.S real estate market which may also affect commodities prices.

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