Major market moving events for 48th week of 2015

Author Haresh Menghani Category Fundamental Analysis 23 Nov 2015 Updated at 11:22 CET
Last week, the overall US Dollar Index (I.USDX) finished higher, primarily led by EUR weakness on the back of ECB President Mario Draghi's comments pointing towards central bank's readiness to announce additional stimulus measures in December. Also against other major currencies, USD witnessed some buying interest except for AUD, which sought support from RBA minutes. The minutes of the RBA monetary policy meeting held on Nov. 3 ruled out need for any further rate-cuts in the near-future. The Federal Reserve also published minutes from its latest monetary policy meeting held in October, which reaffirmed the expectations of a lift-off, as early as December.
Even as this week's economic calendar features some important releases from the US and other major economies, the Forex market this week is likely to remain muted as the US markets are closed on Thursday for the Thanks Giving holiday. Meanwhile, investors will now shift their focus in evaluating the pace of monetary tightening by the Fed once it announces rate-hike in December. Here is a brief outlook on some of the important market-moving events scheduled during the course of this week.
On Monday, the Fed is anticipated to hold a closed meeting of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System where the board is tentatively scheduled to review and determine the advance and discount rates to be charged by the Federal Reserve Banks. Since a final announcement is to be made after the meeting, it is unlikely to deliver any surprises in terms of monetary policy action. The announcement, however, would surely be used as a tool to communicate central bank's intentions to raise rates during its December meeting and also to communicate the possible future monetary policy trajectory.
Fresh readings on existing home sales and new home sales are scheduled for release on Monday and Wednesday respectively. The housing data will further assist investors to gauge health of the US housing sector, which remains on strong recovery path. Existing home sales for the month of October are expected to continue the positive momentum, with a slight moderation. Consensus estimate the data to come-in at an annualized rate of 5.39 million units, down from 5.55 million units recorded in the previous month. Meanwhile, following a lower-than-expected gains for three of last four months, new home sales for October are expected to rise to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 500,000 units.
Investors will also have a look at the performance of US manufacturing sector with the release of durable goods orders, also scheduled for release on Wednesday. After a two months of consecutive drop, durable goods orders, are expected to edge up by 1.6% in October. Meanwhile, core durable goods orders, which excludes transportation items, is also expected to witness an up-tick by 0.5% for the month of October.
The key highlight from this week's US economic calendar is the Preliminary estimates (second estimate) of the third quarter US GDP growth rate and is scheduled for release on Tuesday. According to the Commerce Department's Advance release, the US economy grew by 1.5% annualized pace in the third-quarter of 2015 but economists this time are expecting the figure to be revised higher, with the consensus estimating the data to show an annualized growth of 2.0%. However, a minor blip from the initially reported growth is unlikely to disturb the steady growth trajectory, which seems more likely to continue in the last quarter of 2015.
Also watch out for Conference Board's Consumer Confidence index for the month of November, scheduled for release on Tuesday. Following a drop to a three-month low reading of 97.6 in October, the index is expected to rise to 99.3 in November. Other data to watch include revised UoM consumer sentiment for September and is scheduled for release on Wednesday.
The UK Office for National Statistics is also scheduled to release the second estimate of GDP for the third-quarter of 2015 on Friday. The Preliminary estimate showed UK GDP growing 0.5% in the third-quarter of 2015. The second estimate of growth for Q3 2015 is expected to confirm the growth rate and match the original estimate of 0.5% growth on a sequential basis.
Elsewhere, after Monday's release of composite Euro-zone flash services and manufacturing PMI along-with PMI reading from regions two largest economies, Germany and France, the Euro-zone economic calendar features only the release of German Ifo Business Climate index, scheduled for release on Tuesday. Also watch-out for the scheduled monthly release of New-Zealand's trade balance data, on Thursday, which is expected to narrow a bit to 1 billion of trade deficit.
With the US markets closed on Thursday and Friday being a half day, there could be a significant drop in the Forex market trading volumes eventually leading to lacklustre moves during the week. However, a high degree of divergence from the expected data points and any surprise from Monday's Fed closed meeting has the potential to trigger some volatility during the early half of the week.
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