Category: Forex News

The Week Ahead: Fed Rate Path, ECB Decision, BoE Talks, BoC Policy, and More

The German economy is also in focus on Thursday, with factory orders. While the numbers need consideration, the ECB monetary policy decision and press conference will be the main event. Uncertainty remains over the timeline for an ECB rate cut. With economists expecting the ECB to leave interest rates unchanged, the press conference will be the focal point.

On Friday, German industrial production and producer prices will draw investor interest. Producer prices may impact the EUR/USD more. A more marked fall in producer prices could signal a softer demand-inflation outlook. However, Q4 GDP numbers for the Eurozone will also warrant investor attention.

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Beyond the numbers, ECB commentary needs monitoring.

The Pound

On Tuesday, UK retail sales will influence the buyer appetite for the Pound. The BRC Retail Sales Monitor will be in focus. Weaker retail sales figures could raise bets on a Bank of England rate cut.

However, finalized private sector PMI numbers for February (Tues) may affect the GBP/USD more. The Services PMI will be the focal point, accounting for over 70% of the UK economy. Investors must consider the headline PMI and the sub-components, including input prices.

On Thursday, UK house prices will also draw investor attention. A pullback in house prices could impact consumer confidence. Downward trends in consumer confidence could affect consumer spending and dampen demand-driven inflation.

Bank of England chatter also needs tracking. BoE Governor Andrew Bailey (Tues) is on the calendar to speak on Thursday.

The Loonie

On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada will influence near-term trends for the Loonie. Economists expect the BoC to leave interest rates at 5%. However, the markets expect the BoC to signal the timeline for an interest rate cut after a more dovish rate statement in January.

Trade data will draw investor interest on Thursday, with labor market data needing consideration on Friday. Weaker trade terms and a higher unemployment rate could raise bets on an H1 2024 BoC rate cut.

The Australian Dollar

On Monday, building approvals and company gross operating profits will impact buyer demand for the  Aussie dollar. The housing sector remains an area of interest, with the interest rate environment affecting the sector. A pickup in housing sector activity could signal an improving Australian macroeconomic environment.

Company gross operating profits will also give investors a bird’s eye view of the economy. However, the numbers are unlikely to influence the RBA Rate Path. Wages, consumption, inflation, and China remain the focal points.

On Wednesday, Q4 GDP numbers and retail sales will draw investor interest. A hotter-than-expected Australian economy could allow the RBA to delay the timeline for a rate cut. Revisions to preliminary retail sales figures would also influence the buyer appetite for the Aussie dollar.

Trade data on Thursday could also affect RBA plans vis-à-vis interest rates. Australia has a trade-to-GDP ratio above 50%. Improving trade terms would support the Australian economy and the Aussie dollar. A pickup in economic activity may signal an upward trend in consumer prices, affecting bets on an RBA rate cut.

The Kiwi Dollar

There are no economic indicators from New Zealand to influence near-term trends for the Kiwi dollar. However, updates from the National People’s Congress and economic data from China will need investor consideration. Services PMI (Tues) and trade data (Thurs) warrant investor attention.

The Japanese Yen

On Monday, capital spending numbers for Q4 will put the Japanese Yen in focus. The Japanese economy unexpectedly contracted in Q4. Upbeat numbers could influence sentiment toward the economy and bets on a Bank of Japan pivot from negative rates.

However, inflation numbers for Tokyo will likely impact the USD/JPY more. A pickup in inflationary pressures could fuel bets on the Bank of Japan exiting negative rates in April. Finalized Services PMI numbers will likely play second fiddle to the inflation report.

On Friday, household spending will also draw investor interest. The Bank of Japan is eyeing household spending to drive demand-driven inflation. A pickup in household spending would support bets on an April BoJ pivot from negative rates.

Beyond the numbers, Bank of Japan commentary also needs consideration. BoJ Board Member Nakagawa is on the calendar to speak on Thursday.

Out of China

On Tuesday, the Caixin Services PMI will influence market risk sentiment. A pullback in service sector activity could pressure Beijing to deliver a meaningful fiscal stimulus package. The services sector accounts for over 50% of the Chinese economy, giving it substantial weightage.

However, trade data for February will also impact market risk sentiment on Thursday. Downward trends in demand may affect riskier assets.

Sensitivity to the numbers will likely depend on messages from Beijing. Lawmakers will gather this week at the National People’s Congress to discuss the economic outlook and policy.

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