If you ain’t excited to start catching pips on this brand new trading month, then let me give you FOUR reasons to get all pumped up about it! Here are four central bank decisions that could rock the forex market this week:
1. Reserve Bank of Australia (Tuesday, 1:30 am GMT)
First among these central banks scheduled to make a rate statement this week is the RBA, headed by Governor Glenn Stevens. No monetary policy changes are expected, as the Australian bank is likely to keep interest rates unchanged at 2.50%.
In their previous rate statement, policymakers gave a relatively cautious economic assessment which highlighted the weakness in the labor market. The statement also revealed that RBA officials are concerned about the ongoing slowdown in China and the negative impact of the Australian dollar’s appreciation on inflation and trade activity.
For tomorrow’s policy statement, Governor Stevens and his men might whistle the same cautious tone, as the Australian economy faces the prospect of government budget cuts. Bear in mind that domestic demand has already shown signs of weakness, which means that cost-cutting measures in health care, higher education, welfare, and pensions might wind up hurting economic activity even more.
2. Bank of Canada (Wednesday, 2:00 pm GMT)
Next on the list is the Bank of Canada, which is also expected to keep monetary policy unchanged for the meantime. Analysts predict that BOC Governor Stephen Poloz and his gang of policymakers would keep the benchmark rate on hold at 1.00%.
Take note that the BOC has been maintaining its neutral monetary policy bias for quite some time already. In their previous statement, Poloz mentioned that inflationary pressures have somewhat improved and that Canada’s economic performance could improve at the same pace as the U.S. economy. These confident remarks were enough to keep the Loonie supported for almost a month, despite weaker than expected jobs figures and GDP data from Canada.
This time around, Poloz might take the recent weakness in hiring and growth into account and issue a few dovish remarks here and there. After all, the latest Canadian GDP release showed that the economy expanded by only 1.2% in Q1 2014 while the previous quarter’s figure was revised down from 2.9% to 2.7%. On the other hand, Poloz could focus on the consistent increases in core inflation and retain his upbeat outlook.
3. Bank of England (Thursday, 11:00 am GMT)
The recent shift in BOE rhetoric to a more dovish outlook has been weighing on the pound for quite some time already, and this week’s BOE rate statement might be crucial in determining whether the U.K. currency can recover or not. No actual monetary policy changes are expected, as rates are likely to be kept unchanged at 0.50% while the asset purchase program could stay at 375 billion GBP.
The latest set of U.K. economic data has shown notable improvements, with CPI and retail sales both posting stronger than expected results. This might be enough to convince some of the more dovish MPC members to lighten up and start drafting a gradual approach to tightening monetary policy.
4. European Central Bank (Thursday, 11:45 am GMT)
Talk about saving the best for last! Among the rate statements on this week’s docket, the ECB policy decision just might be the biggest market mover. After all, Draghi and his men have repeatedly hinted that they are considering implementing further easing in order to support the feeble euro zone economy. Even the most hawkish central bank in the region has been prodding the ECB to ease!
Whether ECB policymakers will give in to the pressure or not remains to be seen though, as Draghi has specified in their May rate statement that they will wait for the inflation forecasts to be released before making a decision. Better keep close tabs on the euro zone flash CPI estimate release at 9:00 am GMT tomorrow to see if further easing is warranted.
Analysts predict that the ECB might either slash the benchmark rate from 0.25% to 0.10% or expand their LTRO. Others insist that it’s about time for the ECB to implement negative deposit rates, which are aimed at boosting lending activity. With expectations running high for aggressive stimulus efforts though, keep in mind that the potential for disappointment is also high!
That’s about it for my overview on central bank events this week. Stay tuned for more details, trading guides, and reviews on these rate statements in the coming days. Do you plan on trading any of these events?