The Census Bureau in the United States reported that Retail Sales gained 0.3 percent in October, slightly higher than forecasted. American consumers rejoiced as cheaper gasoline enabled them to shop and dine more ahead of the Christmas holiday season. Broad-based gains were noted as 11 out of 13 categories monitored showed growth. Consequently, consumer confidence rose as seen in the latest C onsumer Sentiment index by University of Michigan; the index hit 89.3 this November.
Meanwhile, US Jobless Claims rose 290,000 last week, according to the Department of Labor. JOLTS Job Openings for September came in at 4.74 million. Import Prices declined less than expected, minus 1.3 percent.
In other news, UK’s Office for National Statistics said Claimant Count Change reduced by 20,400, which was lesser than anticipated. UK Jobless Rate stayed at 6 percent for the second month in a row in September. Average Earnings Index came in at one percent.
In Japan, the Current Acct improved in September to JPY0.41 trillion. However, the Cabinet Office reported that Consumer Confidence weakened to 38.9 in October, while analyst looked for a 40.6 median reading. M2 Money Stock advanced 3.2 percent, its 8th consecutive month in the 3 percent level.
Gold bulls struggled in their campaign but ultimately managed to come out on top this week. Buyers fought hard for the first four days but they were able to push price $47 higher on Friday, overcoming short-term resistance in the area. They still need a very strong move through the $1,200 level though.
Oil posted its seventh straight bearish weekly close as another attempt to break $80 failed easily on Monday. This bearish move gave oil a fresh 4-year low, but it is now approaching key support around $67 to $70.
EURUSD seemed to have tracked Gold’s movement this week based on their similar price actions. The pair consolidated the whole week except the drive higher on Friday. Potential sellers around the 1.2600-1.2900 area are what bulls need to take care of.
A big smackdown happened in GBPUSD this week following three straight weekly declines through the 1.6000 level. The 1.5591 low reached on Friday is the lowest price seen since early September 2013. A move toward 1.5500 is still on track.
USDJPY’s bullish momentum has continued unabated for the fourth week. However, price range has been decreasing and so we could see near-term dips in the coming days and weeks. Buying opportunities could come around 110-113.
The Week Ahead
Monday will get active early with New Zealand’s Retail Sales, followed by the following: Japan’s Prelim GDP; Australia’s New Motor Vehicle Sales; German Bundesbank’s Monthly Report; Canada’s Foreign Securities Purchases; US Empire State Manufacturing Index, Capacity Utilization Rate, and Industrial Production. ECB’s Draghi is also expected to give a speech.
On Tuesday, there will be Australia’s CB Leading Index and RBA’s Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes; UK CPI, RPI, PPI, and HPI; ZEW Economic Sentiment for Germany and the Eurozone; and US PPI and NAHB Housing Market Index.
Wednesday will be abbreviated yet packed with BOJ Monetary Policy Statement and Press Conference; UK’s MPC Asset Purchase Facility and Official Bank Rate Votes; Switzerland’s Economic Expectations; US Building Permits, Housing Starts, and FOMC Meeting Minutes.
Thursday will be up early with New Zealand’s PPI Input and PPI Output; Japan’s Trade Balance; China’s HSBC Flash Manufacturing PMI; Flash Manufacturing PMI and Flash Services PMI for Germany, France, and the Eurozone; UK CBI Industrial Order Expectations and Retail Sales; Canada’s Wholesale Sales; US CPI, Flash Manufacturing PMI, Jobless Claims, Existing Home Sales, and Philly Fed Manufacturing Index.
Friday will be the least active day this week with New Zealand’s Credit Card Spending; ECB’s Draghi’s speech; UK Public Sector Net Borrowing; and US CPI.