With very little in fundamental data for the euro to dollar pair today, I thought I would look ahead to next week, and highlight the main numbers being released in Europe and the US. We start on Monday in the US with the Existing Home Sales figures, which is the annualized number of residential buildings that were sold during the previous month, but excluding new construction. The forecast here is for 4.4million against the previous month’s 4.49 actual. This is a leading indicator of the health of the economy, and therefore an early signal of any significant changes, and in terms of it’s effect on the currency, if the numbers are better than expected,then this is generally good news.

Moving on to Tuesday, we have two sets of data being released, which are both significant for the respective currencies of the euro and the US dollar, and in particular the euro to dollar pair. First up is the German IFO business climate report. This is a highly respected report, principally because of the large sample size, and also its close correlation both with the German economy and as a reliable indicator throughout Europe, so it can have a dramatic impact on the euro, and hence the euro to dollar. It is a composite index and the survey covers manufacturing, building, wholesaling and retailing. The previous month was 82.6 with a forecast of 81.0 this time. If the actual is over the forecast then this will be seen as positive for the currency. In the afternoon we move to the US and the CB ( Conference Board ) figures on consumer spending. This is another leading indicator which uses a survey of 5000 households to gauge consumer confidence. Again it is released monthly and if the forecast numbers are exceeeded then this is positive news for the currency. The previous figure was 38.0 with a forecast of 37.90 for Tuesday.

On Wednesday morning, we have very little in Europe to affect the euro, but in the afternoon/evening in the US everyone will be waiting for the FOMC statement, which certainly can, and does move the currency markets, and ofcourse the euro vs dollar pair. The release is actually two pieces of news or data at the same time. The first is the FOMC statement, which is scheduled 8 times per year and is the primary tool that is used to communicate with investors about future monetary policy, which is why currency traders ( and others ) pay such close attention. First of all, the statement contains the outcome of the vote on interest rates and a commentary about the economic conditions that influence the vote, but more importantly it considers the economic outlook for the future, and will often provide an early signal for the future direction of interest rates. As the statement changes from month to month, it is these changes that traders will focus on, in particular in order to spot any changes in sentiment or to look for clues to the future. The usual effect on the currency is that a hawkish statement will be seen as positive. Alongside the FOMC statement, we also have the Fed Funds Rate, which is the rate at which banks lend to one another overnight. The rate is forecast to remain at 0.25% and is often factored into the market before it is announced, and in many cases the news is overshadowed by the FOMC statement. If the actual is greater than the forecast then this is generally good for the currency.

After the excitement of Wednesday, Thursday morning in Europe has several announcements, including German Unemployment, Consumer Confidence and Money Supply, but these are generally only considered as minor items of fundamental data. The US povides the key data in the afternoon with the Core Durable Goods, and New Home Sales. The first of these measures the change in the total value of new purchase orders placed with manufacturers for durable goods, and is therefore a significant leading indicator of the economic well being of the country and a barometer of the economy moving forward. The actual last month was 0.6% and the forecast for this month is (-2.5%) – if the actual is better than forecast then this is positive for the currency. The other significant data comes from New Homes Sales, which as the name suggests is the annualized number of new homes sold during the previous month. Again it is a leading indicator and if the actual exceeds the forecast, provides a boost to the currency. The forecast this time is for 410,000 against last month’s actual of 407,000.

Finally on Friday we have the last significant piece of fundamental news which comes in the afternoon from the US and is the Advance GDP figures, which are released quarterly, and provide a broad measure of economic activity. The advance release is the first indication of GDP, and therefore tends to have the most impact on the currency. Last time the figure was (-o.5%) with a forecast this time of (-5.0%).

I hope the above is useful and I will be updating all the figures during the week in individual posts as the currency markets react to the news, so please check back regularly. If you prefer to trade from a technical viewpoint, I do have a seperate site which provides a view of the euro vs dollar from a technical perspective, so please just follow the link – good trading and see you next week – Anna