Last week the USD strengthened in anticipation of this week’s FOMC meeting. The market has replaced concerns that stemmed from poor Q1 GDP with USD-positive reactions to Q2 data, which have been in-line or better than expectations. The euro was a big loser last week as data continues to suggest the ECB might need further stimulus (QE). This week will be full of key US fundamentals. Let’s be prepared by taking a look at this week’s key fundamental releases for the majors.
US Pending Home Sales for June, is forecast to have contracted at -0.2%. Pending home sales have been volatile and just came off a 6.1% gain in May. A slide in June is not the end of the world. We had 3 straight months of gains, which is something we have not seen since 2010. On the other hand, a positive reading could be USD-positive in the near-term, given it has not already rallied sharply before the housing data.
US Conference Board Consumer Confidence for July is expected to edge up to 85.5 from 85.2. This reading would reflect the strongest reading since January 2008. It has risen sharply since the Jan. 2013 low of 58.6 and bodes well for the USD. A reading in line with forecast or better should keep the USD-buoyed. A reading below 85.0 might weigh slightly on the USD, but we should keep the implications in the intra-session time-frame.
German Preliminary CPI for July is forecast to be 0.2% on the month, after a 0.3% reading in June. The annual reading in June was 1.0%. If the annual CPI reading for Germany falls below 1.0%, we might see some more pressure on the EUR. A ready above 1.0% on the year could help EUR consolidate, but should not be able to help EUR reverse its recent downtrend.
US ADP Non-Farm Employment Change for July is a precursor to Friday’s Non-Farm Payroll, which was hot last month. The ADP report was hot last month too, and came in at 281K, which was the strongest reading since December 2011, and was the 3rd strongest reading since the financial crisis. Economists are expecting July’s job market to have leveled off, and to have added 234K jobs, which is still a strong reading.
US Advanced GDP for Q2 will probably trump the jobs data in terms of importance. Q1 GDP was -2.9% at an annualized rate. This seems distant memory now. We can’t blame the weather anymore in the second quarter, and manufacturing, sales, and other economic data points for Q2 have not disappointed. Economists forecast a 3.1% advanced reading. Ability to show 3.0% and above should help the USD maintain its recent strength. A reading below 3.0% could be seen as disappointing, and might urge traders to pare USD’s recent gains.
The Federal Open Market Committee will conclude its monetary policy meeting and make a statement. It will have the GDP data to talk about. This is important because after Q1’s dismal growth data, the Fed showed concern about Q2 data. The market will be on top of the Fed’s reaction to the Q2 GDP and how it may affect the rate hike time-line, which is current projected to mid-2015.
Australian Building Approvals for June is forecast to have grown 0.2%, after a strong 9.9% reading in May.The AUD has regained some strength after seeing Australia’s annual CPI inflation grow from 2.9% to 3.0% in Q2. The housing data should have limited impact on the Aussie.
Eurozone CPI Flash Estimate for July is forecast to be 0.5% on the year. It has been stuck at 0.5% since May. ECB president Mario Draghi had predicted that inflation was at the bottom when it was 0.5% in February. So far, his prediction has neither materialized or been invalidated because the annual CPI inflation is still 0.5%. A drop below 0.5% will very likely weigh on the EUR because the ECB’s inaction is based on inflation not dropping further. a drop in inflation will be further impetus for the ECB to apply more monetary stimulus.
Eurozone’s unemployment rate is expected to stay at 11.6% for the month of July. There is more room for disappointment because the prevailing trend has been a steady improvement, and if the reading is 11.5% for example, it would not be such a big surprise. A reading of 11.7% however will buck the trend and provide the ECB with more reason to loosen monetary policy further.
Canadian GDP for the month of May is forecast to be 0.3%, which would be the strongest month since January when it was 0.5%. The monthly GDP was 0.1% for April and March. There has not been any negative readings so far this year. If we can keep that up, the CAD should maintain its recent strength (though it consolidated for a couple of weeks). A negative reading might be needed to hold CAD back and keep it in consolidation or bearish correction. A reading above 0.5% can definitely revive CAD-strength.
US Jobless claims was at a 10-year low this week, at 284K. Next week’s reading is expected to rise back to 306K which would still be at the lower range of 2014-data. A reading below 300K should be positive for the USD in the near-term. A reading above 320K might be needed to hold USD, but only in the intra-session time-frame. This assessment is assuming that the FOMC did not shake things up and put the USD in a medium term bearish outlook. We are assuming the USD continues to be bullish.
Chinese Manufacturing PMI for July provided by the government, is expected to improve to 51.4 from 51.0. This would reflect 5 straight months of steady improvement in manufacturing, and also reflects the quick recovery after we saw Chinese data slump in 2013. The final version of HSBC’s Chinese Manufacturing PMI is expected to be 52.0, which would also reflect the recovery in China’s economy.
Australia’s Producer Price Index is forecast to show inflation of 0.7% in Q2, down from 0.9% in Q1. Q1 PPI inflation compared to Q1 2013 was 2.5%. If this reading increases, we might see some AUD-strength, and if it declines we should see AUD consolidate. It is still too early to anticipate any economic data point to be able to put AUD into reversal, into a bearish market.
UK Manufacturing PMI for July is forecast to be 57.2, slightly lower than the 57.5 reading in June. This is a second tier data point and shouldn’t have much impact on the GDP other than in the very near-term. The market is focused on whether the Bank of England can raise rates in 2014. Right now lack of wage growth is the concern, so even a strong improvement in manufacturing will not ease that concern, nor should a singular worse-than-expected reading add to that concern.
US Non-Farm Payroll report for July will be the key data point to wrap up the week. The 288K reading for June revived USD strength. Economists expect about a 230K reading, which is still decent. A reading above 200K is decent, and if it is above 250K, the Fed should have more reason to raise rates earlier than mid-2015 rather than after. A reading below 200K however might bring USD back into at least some short-term consolidation, especially if it has been gaining throughout the week.
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