Forex Weekly Outlook For April 26-30 – FOMC Meeting, GDP Reports Eyed

10 and 20 us dollar bill

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Major economies are showing signs of recovery as vaccine rollout programs continue to accelerate. The Bank of Canada tapered its QE, while the ECB stood pat. This week the Federal Reserve will hold a policy decision, while the US and Germany are to release GDP for the first quarter.

GBP/USD broke above the 1.40 level last week, but was unable to hold above this line and had to settle for slight gains over the week. EUR/USD rallied late in the week and pushed across the 1.21 level. USD/CAD showed some volatility in mid-week trading, but was little changed over the course of the week. 

Last week’s ECB policy meeting was described as “a meeting to forget,” as policymakers maintained policy and provided clues as to the bank’s future plans. ECB head Lagarde stated that it was premature to discuss tapering QE.

UK unemployment numbers were a mixed bag. Claimant Count fell by 10.1 thousand, down from 86.6 thousand and beating the forecast of 24.5 thousand. However, wage growth underperformed, falling from 4.8% to 4.5% and missing the estimate of 4.7%. The unemployment rate dipped down to 4.9%, down from 5.0%.

UK Inflation rose in March, as headline CPI climbed to 0.7%, up from 0.4%. Core CPI rose to 1.1%, up from 0.9%. The Bank of Canada tapered its QE program from C$4 billion to C$3 billion, becoming the first G-7 bank to tighten policy since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

In the US, unemployment claims dropped for a second straight week to 547 thousand, down from 576 thousand beforehand. Manufacturing PMI in March improved to 60.6, up from 59.0. A reading above the 50-neutral level points to growth.

  1. US Consumer Confidence: Tuesday, 14:00. The US consumer is showing strong confidence in the US economy. The March reading came in at 109.7 and the indicator is projected to rise to 112.0 in April.
  2. FOMC Statement: Wednesday, 18:00: Wednesday, 18:00. The Federal Reserve is expected to maintain its accommodative policy. A more hawkish tone than expected in the statement would be bullish for the US dollar.
  3. German Unemployment Change: Thursday, 7:55. Unemployment fell by 8 thousand in February, better than the estimate of -4 thousand. The estimate for March stands at -10 thousand.
  4. US Advance GDP: Thursday, 12:30. The US economy grew by 4.3% in Q4, revised upwardly from 4.0% beforehand. With economic conditions improving, the initial estimate for Q1 GDP stands at 6.5%.
  5. German Prelim GDP: Friday, 8:00. GDP for the first quarter is expected to take a downturn, with an estimate of -1.5%. The country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and tighter health restrictions have hampered economic growth.
  6. Canada GDP: Friday, 12:30. Canada releases GDP on a monthly basis. The economy expanded by 0.7% in January and the estimate for February stands at 0.9%.

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