The Fed released the FOMC minutes this week and there were strong hints that the US Central Bank will make an announcement in the coming weeks about QE3. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to speak August 31st at the Jackson Hole Economic symposium, although some analysts have suggested that the cryptic “fairly soon” in the minutes might be pointing at the US Presidential elections that happen in November.
Canada’s economic releases this week were negative to the currency, but the loonie rode the USD weakness to 3 month highs as the European Leader confidence boost took the EUR to 7 week highs and weakened the USD across the board.
Below are some other highlights of the week:
- CAD: Canadian wholesale sales shrank unexpectedly in June (-0.1% to +$49.9b), the first drop in five-months, dragged down all the miscellaneous sector (-6.4%: Agric. -20.5%). The market was looking for a climb of +0.3% in June.
- CAD: Canadian Retail sales also happened to surprise to the downside in June (-0.4% seasonally adjusted to -$38.69b ) as consumers spent less at department stores, gas stations and new-car dealers. Ex-autos also dropped -0.4% to erase Mayâ€™s gain. The market again was expecting a headline print in the black ((+0.3%) and suggests that consumer spending did not contribute to domestic GDP. Many members judged that adding an easing bias would likely be warranted very soon,
- Loonie Touches 3 month High on USD Weakness versus EUR | OANDA Forex Blog
- FOMC: The Aug minutes were more openly dovish than had been expected. Further easing continues to be dependent on the strength of the economic data, especially NFP due out next week.
- FOMC Minutes Aug 22 | OANDA Forex Blog
- How the Fed Prepares Its Minutes | OANDA Forex Blog
- USD: Existing home sales were up +2.3% in July to +4.47m. It was a bit weaker than expected and tied with Marchâ€™s reading for the second weakest of the year. Despite what seems to be flattening print, non-distressed sales continue to make up a large portion of the total. Distressed were +24%, while non-distressed sales were up +3.7%.
- US July existing Home Sales Rise | OANDA Forex Blog
- USD: The +4k gain in weekly jobless claims (+4k to +372k)may not seem like much, but it could be key to the Fedâ€™s decision on QE3. Everyone will be looking towards Bernankeâ€™s speech at the Jackson Hole Economic symposium next week.
- USD: Sales of newly built homes in the US rose last month (the third successive gain) to +37.2. Sales were up +3.6%, m/m, and +25.3%, y/y. Prospective homeownerâ€™s face tightened credit conditions that make it harder to secure record low-mortgage rates.
- Markit Releases US PMI | OANDA Forex Blog
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