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The BoE Rate Decision and U.S. Retail Sales May Distract Markets from Greece

The BoE Rate Decision and U.S. Retail Sales May Distract Markets from Greece

2010-05-07 20:09:00
John Rivera, Currency Analyst

• BoE Rate Decision – May 10 - 11:00 GMT
The upcoming BoE rate decision will garner significant focus now that the U.K. political elections are in the rearview mirror. The lack of a majority for any party has created a hung parliament which has raised concerns that measures needed to cut the budget deficit will find difficulty getting passed. Therefore, markets may look to the central bank to take a proactive role in reducing the level of public borrowing which would include bringing an end to their asset purchase program. The end of quantitative easing could be viewed as the first step toward tightening which could generate sterling support. Conversely, a dormant MPC will leave the pound vulnerable to prevailing concerns and could see a continuation of current bearish sentiment.

• U.K. Jobless Claims Change (APR) – May 12 – 08:30 GMT
The number of out of work Britons is expected to have declined by another 20K, marking the fifth reduction in the past six months. If the BoE rate decision proves non-eventful then markets will turn their focus to the labor report to gauge the strength of the recovery. An improving labor market may ease fears over the budget deficit as the prospect for future tax revenues would brighten. A continuation of the positive trend will also raise inflation expectations as increased demand will put upward pressure on prices. Considering that price growth is already above the central bank’s threshold, policy makers may fell pressure to begin tightening sooner than desired. Rising interest rate expectations could generate bullish sterling sentiment. An increase in the number of unemployed could sink the pound as it would increase the downside risks to growth.

Euro-Zone GDP (1Q A) – May 12–09:00 GMT
The upcoming Euro-Zone GDP report is expected to show that the region returned to growth in the first quarter after stagnating at the end of 2009. Early forecasts are for a 0.1% improvement as demand from abroad continues to drive exports. President Trichet following the ECB rate decision that the first quarter won’t be flattering due to weather. However, the central bank leader does see the recovery being confirmed as some soft data has been “quite encouraging.” The release may not have any market moving potential with the heightened debt issues in the region.

• Australian Employment Change (APR) – May 13- 01:30 GMT
Forecasts are for the Australian economy to have added 22,500 jobs in April as the economy continues to grow. The labor market boom has started to bring unemployment levels to where skill workers become scarce. A bid for top talent could put upward pressure on wages and broader inflation. The RBA raised its target rate for a sixth time to 4.50% as policy makers look to head of rising consumer prices. The central bank raised its growth and inflation forecasts for 2012 but see rates near average levels which could cause then to pause policy going forward. Therefore, the labor report may not have the ability to generate any significant follow through after an initial reaction.

• U.S. Retail Sales(APR) May 14 – 12:30 GMT
Consumer consumption in the U.S. is projected to have slightly risen in April as the retail recovery shows signs of slowing. The economy added 290,000 jobs during the month which surpassed forecasts and could translate into stronger than expected retail sales. Signs that the economy is building upon the 3.4% growth in the first quarter could ease growth concerns and raise expectations for a rate hike from the Fed. An inline print or a decline in domestic demand could add to prevailing pessimism raising the level of risk aversion.

See the DailyFX Calendar for a full list, timetable, and consensus forecasts for upcoming economic indicators.

Send questions or comments to jrivera@dailyfx.com

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