Financial Market Forecast for March 24-28

The commodities markets mostly cooled down including natural gas and precious metal; in the forex market the Euro and Aussie dollar depreciated against the USD. This week several reports will be released and may affect commodities, equities and forex markets; these include: U.S new and pending home sales, EU’s monetary developments, U.S consumer confidence, Flash German, French and Euro Zone Manufacturing PMI, Governor Stevens speaks, U.S Core Durable Goods,  U.S and GB GDP for the fourth quarter, and China’s manufacturing PMI. Here is a breakdown for the week of March 24th to March 28th referring to the U.S, Euro Area, China, Australia and Great Britain.

(All times GMT):

Monday, March 24th

02:45 – China Manufacturing PMI (flash): HSBC will publish its flash manufacturing PMI survey for March. Last month’s report referring to February 2014 the Manufacturing PMI slipped to 48.3 – i.e. China’s manufacturing sectors is contracting at a faster pace. If in the upcoming update the PMI index continues to fall, it could signal China’s economy isn’t progressing. This may also adversely affect commodities prices;

09:00 – Flash German, French and Euro Zone Manufacturing PMI: In the previous monthly report regarding February 2014, Germany’s PMI decreased to 54.7 i.e. the manufacturing conditions are contracting at a faster pace. France’s PMI inched down to 48.5. This report serves estimates to the developments in the Euro Area’s manufacturing conditions; this news, in turn, may affect the Euro/USD currency pair and consequently commodities prices;

Tuesday, March 25th

09:00 – German Ifo Business Climate Index: This index comprises of the changes (on a monthly basis) in the manufacturers, builders, wholesalers, and retailers in Germany as of March. In the last report regarding February 2014, the business climate index slightly increased again to 111.3;

10:30 – GB CPI: According to the recent update, the CPI slightly declined to an annual rate of 1.9% during January. The changes in Great Britain’s inflation could affect BOE’s monetary policy;

15:00 – U.S Consumer Confidence: According to the last update for February, the consumer confidence index decreased to 78.1 (month-over-month). This report might affect the USD;

15:00 – U.S. New Home Sales: This report will refer to February 2014; in the last report (opens pdf; for January), the sales of new homes rose to an annual rate of 468,000 – a 13% gain (month-over-month); if the number of home sales keep rising, this may suggest the housing market in the U.S is heating up; this news may also affect the US dollar;

Wednesday, March 26th

07:00 –Governor Stevens speaks: Reserve Bank of Australia Governor is due to speak at the 17th Annual Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference, in Hong Kong; this speech may affect the Aussie dollar;

08:00 – Gfk German Consumer Climate Survey: This survey estimates Germany’s consumers’ economic climate (past and future economic conditions – on a monthly basis) for March. In the previous report for February 2014, the climate index rose to 8.5;

13:30 – U.S Core Durable Goods: This monthly report regarding February may indirectly indicate the changes in U.S. demand for commodities such as oil and gas. As of January 2014, new orders of manufactured durable goods decreased to $225 billion; if this report shows another decline in new orders, then it could drag down not only the USD but also commodities;

15:30 – U.S Crude Oil Stockpiles Weekly report: The EIA (Energy Information Administration) will publish its weekly report on the U.S oil and petroleum stockpiles for the week ending on March 21st; the report will also show the changes in imports, refinery input and production, which could provide some insight behind the recent changes in the price of crude oil in the U.S; 

Thursday, March 27th

09:00 – Euro Area Monetary Development: This monthly report will refer to the developments of the M3, M1 and loans to private sector in the Euro area as of February 2014. In the latest January report, the annual growth rate for M3 rose to 1.2%; M1 rallied to 6.2%. Finally, the annual growth rate of loans to private sector remained nearly unchanged at -2.2%. This news suggests the EU inflation is picking up as the growth rate of M1 and M3 rose, though loans continue to shrink. The progress of the EU monetary base is likely to affect future ECB rate decisions;

09:30 – Great Britain Retail Sales: According to last month’s update, retail sales in Great Britain fell by 1.5%; this report could affect the British pound;

13:30 – Final U.S GDP 3Q 2013 Estimate: This will be the last estimate of U.S’s fourth quarter 2013 real GDP growth. In the previous estimate the U.S GDP rose by 2.4% in the fourth quarter of 2013. If the growth rate were to be revised down, this might negatively affect not only the US dollar but also commodities prices;

13:30 – U.S. Jobless Claims Weekly update:  This weekly report will pertain to the developments in the initial jobless claims for the week ending on March 21st; in the recent report the jobless claims rose by 5k to reach 320k; this next weekly report may affect the U.S dollar and consequently commodities and stocks markets;

15:00 – U.S Pending Home Sales: This report shows the developments in pending home sales in the U.S during February; in the previous update for January, pending home sales index inched up by 0.1% (month-over-month). This report is another signal for the changes in the U.S housing market; if the index rises again, it may pull down the U.S dollar;

15:30 – EIA U.S. Natural Gas Storage Update: The EIA weekly report pertains to the U.S. natural gas market; the report shows the latest developments in natural gas production, storage, consumption and rates as of March 21st;

Friday, March 28th

09:30 – GB Current Account: This quarterly report will show any shifts in the gap between the impost and exports as of the recent quarter. According to the latest update, the deficit contracted to 20.7 billion pounds.  This report might affect the British Pound;

09:30 – Last estimate of GB GDP Q4 2013: This report will present the last estimate of the quarterly growth rate of the British economy for the fourth quarter of 2013; in the previous estimate, the fourth quarter GDP grew by 0.8% (Q-2-Q); if the growth rate remains unchanged or very close to the last estimate, it could have little effect on the GB pound;

13:30 – U.S. Personal Spending: Based on the previous report, spending grew by 0.4%;

14:55 – UoM Consumer Sentiment (revised):University of Michigan will release its revised consumer sentiment monthly update; this survey could provide information regarding the shifts in U.S consumers’ sentiment; according to the recent update, the sentiment index rose to 81.6;

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