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FX Week Ahead: Central bank meeting minutes on the agenda

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The week ahead is relatively quiet with no major economic releases lined up. This leaves much of the macroeconomic fundamentals confined to the meeting minutes from the RBA and the FOMC.

The RBA will be releasing its meeting minutes on Tuesday which is followed by a speech from the RBA Governor Lowe. Later in the week, speech from Janet Yellen, the Fed Chair is followed by the FOMC minutes that will be released on Wednesday.

The minutes are unlikely to spring any major surprises for the markets. Data from the U.S. includes the durable goods orders. New Zealand will be reporting on its quarterly retail sales figures while on Thursday, the ECB’s monetary policy meeting minutes will be released.

Here’s a quick recap into this week’s economic calendar for the currency markets.

Central bank meeting minutes: RBA, FOMC and the ECB

This week will be dominated by the meeting minutes from the RBA, the FOMC and the ECB. However, the underlying factor with the respective central bank minutes is the fact that the markets are not expecting to see anything new. Monetary policy was seen to be broadly stable across the board and the minutes are not expected to move the markets much.

The RBA left interest rates unchanged at its meeting and the minutes are likely to show that the central bank officials will remain on the sidelines. Economic data from Australia over the past few weeks has been broadly mixed. The main exception has been last week’s labor market data. Still, this was also mixed as the quarterly wage price index did not show any signs of increasing labor costs or wages.

The FOMC, for its part is expected to show a steady path with the minutes unlikely to reflect anything new. The Fed has signaled its intentions for rate hikes in December and the markets have already priced in this event. Recent economic data has also been a bit positive for the Fed officials with inflation showing signs of picking up.

The Fed which also began its unwinding of the balance sheet is expected to stress on this operation in the meeting minutes.

Finally, the ECB will be releasing its minutes on Thursday. Economic data has been broadly upbeat in the Eurozone with data over the past week showing a return of confidence both on the consumer and business side of things.

The ECB’s minutes are likely to see the central bank maintain a cautious stand as it waits for further signs of strengthening inflation and other economic indicators.

Following the central bank meeting minutes release, speeches from the ECB, FOMC, the RBA and the SNB governors are lined up this week as well which could offer some catalyst for the market volatility.

New Zealand quarterly retail sales report

Statistics New Zealand will be releasing the quarterly sales report which is scheduled for late Wednesday. Retail sales for the quarter are forecast to remain flat. This comes amid the previous quarter’s downward revision from 2.0% to 1.9%. The report covers the quarter ending September 2017.

New Zealand Retail sales, Q2 2017: 2.0% (Source:
New Zealand Retail sales, Q2 2017: 2.0% (Source:

The second quarter retail sales got a boost largely on account of visitors to the World Masters Game and the Lions rugby tour. The short term boost that came on account of these events is expected to fade. Besides the retail sales figures, the producer prices index data is also set for release this week.

Quarterly PPI input previously rose 1.4% while the PPI output was revised down to 1.2%. The PPI, as a leading indicator for consumer prices will likely shed more light on the pace of inflation in the economy. The economic data comes ahead of the RBNZ’s financial stability report which will be released later this month.

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