Forex Weekly Outlook May 31-June 4 – US PMIs, Nonfarm Payrolls Eyed

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COVID-19 is on the retreat, slowly but surely. The US and UK continue to show strong growth, and Europe is also showing improvement. We’ll get a look at US PMIs and nonfarm payrolls this week. As well, the eurozone and Germany release CPI, and Canada publishes GDP and job numbers.

In Germany, GDP declined in the first quarter, with a reading of -1.8%. France’s economy posted a small decline of 0.1% in Q4. Bank of England member Gertjan Vlieghe suggested that a rate hike could be on the table as soon as early next year. This sent the pound sharply higher on Thursday. 

GBP/USD posted slight gains last week, as the pair rose for a fourth consecutive week. EUR/USD was almost unchanged last week, as the pair ended the week just shy of the 1.22 line. The Canadian dollar was almost unchanged last week, as USD/CAD remained in 1.20-territory.

In the US, second-estimate GDP for the first quarter came in unchanged at 6.4%, confirming the initial reading. Unemployment claims fell to a new post-COVID-19 low of 406 thousand, down from 444 thousand. The PCE index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, jumped to 3.6% in April, up from 2.2%. This could lift the US dollar if investors believe that the Fed will re-evaluate whether to taper QE sooner rather than later.

  1. German CPI: Monday, All Day. German inflation rose to 0.7% in April, above the forecast of 0.5%. CPI is expected to slow to 0.3% in May.
  2. Eurozone Inflation Report: Tuesday, 9:00. Eurozone inflation has been accelerating in recent months. Headline CPI is projected to rise to 1.9% for May and Core CPI is expected to tick higher to 0.9%.
  3. Canada GDP: Tuesday, 12:30. Canada releases GDP on a monthly basis. After a weak gain of 0.4% in March, the economy is projected to show a gain of 1.0% in April.
  4. US ISM Manufacturing PMI: Tuesday, 14:00. Manufacturing continues to show strong growth. The PMI is expected to remain unchanged at 61.5. The neutral 50-level separates contraction from expansion.
  5. US ISM Services PMI: Thursday, 14:00. The PMI is forecast to climb to 62.9 in May, up marginally from 62.7.
  6. US Employment Report: Friday, 12:30. The market is projecting a strong NFP report for May, with an estimate of 621 thousand, compared to 266 thousand previously. The unemployment rate is expected to nudge lower to 5.9%, down from 6.1%. However, wage growth is forecast to come in at -0.4% after a reading of +0.3%.
  7. Canada Employment Report: Friday, 12:30. The economy shed 207.1 thousand jobs in April and we will now receive the May data. The unemployment rate is expected to tick upwards to 8.2% in May, up from 8.1%.

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