It was a very busy week as four central banks made interest rate announcements. The Reserve Bank of Australia, Bank of Canada, Bank of England, and the European Central Bank all maintained their respective rates. RBA’s Cash Rate was held at 2.50 percent, BOC held its Overnight Rate at 1 percent, while both ECB and BOE held rates at 0.50 percent. BOE’s Asset Purchase Facility was also maintained at GBP375 billion.
The UK had quite a stellar week as Manufacturing PMI, Construction PMI, and Services PMI topped their respective estimates (57.2, 59.1, and 60.5, respectively).
US Non-Farm Employment Change missed expectations for its August reading, increasing 169,000 compared to its 178,000 estimate. August Unemployment Rate improved slightly to 7.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meanwhile, Canada’s Employment Change increased 59,200 in August, while the Unemployment Rate also improved, from 7.2 percent to 7.1 percent. Ivey PMI jumped to 51.0 from 48.4 in the previous month.
Gold’s $1,400 level has been pivotal in this week’s trading, but in the end bears were able to close the week slightly on their side. Next week, focus will remain on whether the level can put a lid on price. Near-term areas to watch are $1,350 and $1,430-50.
Oil had another volatile week, and like last week bulls had the upper hand. Unlike the other week, though, bulls completely dominated in this week’s trading, making deep discount buys since early Monday and pushing price upward through $110. In the process, weekly price closed at the highest level since May 2011. It would be fascinating to see whether bulls can continue the momentum next week.
EURUSD weakness persisted this week but bears had trouble getting through the 1.3100 level. The pair bounced on Friday but it was not enough to reverse the weekly decline. Key areas to watch next week are 1.3000-1.31000 and 1.3300.
The downside trendline capping USDJPY since May has been duly broken this week. But after the brief excursion above 100.00, the pair has been slammed down very hard on Friday. Price reached a 98.53 low before it was able to close the week just above 99.00. Bulls should make another attempt at closing above 100.00 next week.
GBPUSD had a pretty smooth ride upward, thanks to several favorable data released this week. The steady climbed started near 1.5500 and the pair rose all the way up through 1.5650, topping just ahead of 1.5700. The August top at 1.5716 is looming and bulls should try to blast through it this coming week.
The Week Ahead
The second week of September will turn out to be evenly busy.
On Monday, watch out for Japan’s Current Account and Final GDP; Australia’s Job Advertisements and Home Loans; China’s PPI, CPI and New Loans; Switzerland’s Retail Sales; and Canada’s Building Permits.
On Tuesday, traders will keep an eye on Japan’s Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes and Tertiary Industry Activity; Australia’s NAB Business Confidence and MI Inflation Expectations; China’s Industrial Production and Fixed Asset Investment; BOE Credit Conditions Survey; US JOLTS Job Openings.
On Wednesday, there will be Japan’s BSI Manufacturing Index; Australia’s Westpac Consumer Sentiment; UK Claimant Count Change and Unemployment Rate.
On Thursday, RBNZ will have its Rate Announcement and Monetary Policy Statement. Other noteworthy releases include Japan’s Core Machinery Orders; Australia’s Jobs data; ECB Monthly Bulletin; UK’s Inflation Report Hearings; US Unemployment Claims and Import Prices.
Friday ends the week with New Zealand’s Business NZ Manufacturing Index; Switzerland’s PPI; ECOFIN Meetings and Eurogroup Meetings; US Retail Sales, PPI, and Preliminary UoM Consumer Sentiment.