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Markets

Forex - Weekly outlook: May 5 - 9

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - The dollar gave up gains against most of the other major currencies on Friday after a report showing that the U.S. economy added jobs at the fastest pace in more than two years in April also showed weaker earnings growth and a drop in labor force participation.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in April, well above expectations for jobs growth of 210,000. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to a five and a half year low of 6.3%, compared to expectations for 6.6%.

The report also showed that the labor force participation rate, which measures the proportion of people either working or looking for work, fell to 62.8% from 63.2% in March. Meanwhile, average wage growth edged down in April from the same month last year, dampening the medium term inflation outlook.

Earlier in the week, preliminary data showed that U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of just 0.1% in the first three months of the year, well below forecasts for an expansion of 1.2%.

Despite the sharp slowdown in growth the Federal Reserve said Wednesday it would reduce its bond purchases to $45 billion a month. The Fed also said interest rates would remain on hold at record lows for a "considerable time" after the bond-buying program ends later this year.

The U.S. central bank acknowledged that first quarter growth was far weaker than expected, but added that growth had started to pick up in recent weeks.

The dollar initially moved broadly higher after the jobs report, with USD/JPY rising to 103.01, the strongest since April 8. The pair subsequently retraced these gains, ending the session at 102.18. The pair ended the week 0.33% lower.

EUR/USD fell to lows of 1.3812 before recovering to trade at 1.3869 by the close of Friday's session.

Concerns that the euro zone is falling into deflation persisted after data on Wednesday showed that the annual rate of inflation ticked up to 0.7% in April, from a record low 0.5% the previous month, but still remained well below the European Central Bank's target of close to but just below 2%.

The slight uptick in consumer prices did ease pressure on the ECB to implement further monetary easing measures to tackle low inflation in the region.

GBP/USD ended the session slightly lower at 1.6874, after falling as low as 1.6824 earlier in choppy trade. The pair neared five year highs in the previous session after upbeat U.K. manufacturing data added to expectations for a rate hike by the Bank of England in the early part of next year.

In the week ahead, market participants will be focusing on Thursday's ECB monetary policy announcement. Rate reviews by BoE and the Reserve Bank of Australia will also be closely watched. Australia, New Zealand and Canada are all to release employment reports and the U.S. is to produce data on service sector activity.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, May 5

Markets in Japan are to remain closed for a national holiday. Australia is to produce data on building approvals, while China is to publish the final reading of its HSBC manufacturing index for April.

Markets in the U.K. are to remain closed for the May Day holiday.

In the U.S., the Institute of Supply Management is to publish a report on service sector activity.

Tuesday, May 6

Markets in Japan are to remain closed for a national holiday.

The RBA is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish its monetary policy statement, which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the bank's decision. Australia is also to publish data on the trade balance.

The euro zone is to produce data on retail sales, while Spain is to release reports on employment and service sector activity. Italy is also to publish service sector data.

The U.K. is to publish what will be a closely watched report on service sector growth.

Later Tuesday, both Canada and the U.S. are to release data on trade, while Canada is also to publish its Ivey PMI.

Wednesday, May 7

New Zealand is to release data on the change in the number of people employed and the unemployment rate, while Australia is to produce a report on retail sales.

The Bank of Japan is to publish monetary policy meeting minutes.

In the euro zone, Germany is to publish data on factory orders.

The Swiss National Bank is to publish data on its foreign currency reserves. This data is closely scrutinized for indications of the size of the bank's operations in currency markets.

Canada is to produce data on building permits.

Later Wednesday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is to testify before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, in Washington.

Thursday, May 8

Australia is to release data on the change in the number of people employed and the unemployment rate.

Switzerland is to produce a report on consumer price inflation.

In the euro zone, Germany is to publish a report on industrial production.

The BoE is to announce its benchmark interest rate.

Later in the day, the ECB is to announce its benchmark interest rate. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference with President Mario Draghi.

Also Thursday, Canada is to release data on new house price inflation and the U.S. is to publish the weekly report on initial jobless claims.

Friday, May 9

The RBA is to publish its monetary policy statement. Meanwhile, China is to produce a report on consumer price inflation.

In the euro zone, Germany is to release data on the trade balance.

The U.K. is to publish data on manufacturing and industrial production, as well as data on the trade balance.

Canada is to round up the week with data on the change in the number of people employed and the unemployment rate.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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