In the week ahead all eyes will be focused on the FOMC monetary policy meeting as traders look for confirmation that, in light of a weak jobs and housing markets, muted inflationary pressures, and the EU debt crisis, the Fed may continue to keep interest rates low for "extended period".
In preparation for the new trading week, here is a list of the Top 10 spotlight economic events that every currency trader should pay attention to.
1. EUR- Germany IFO Institute Business Climate and Expectations Index, a leading indicator of economic conditions and business expectations in the Euro-zone's largest economy, Tues., June 22, 4:00 am, ET.
The German IFO index is expected to pull back slightly to 101.2 from 101.5, but traders should not be surprised to see a larger-than-expected decline, given the recent disappointing drop in the German ZEW sentiment which is a leading indicator of the IFO survey.
2. CAD- Canada CPI- Consumer Price Index, the main measure of inflation, Tues., June 22, 7:00 am, ET.
Strong Canadian economic growth and labor market, along with rising inflation, have been the main factors prompting the Bank of Canada to start raising interest rates, but inflationary pressures in May could flatten with 0% m/m increase in inflation compared with 0.3% m/m increase in the previous month.
3. GBP- U.K. Annual Budget, a release of the U.K. government budget which may contain plans to reduce the fiscal deficit, Tues., June 22, 7:30 am, ET.
The U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is set to outline spending cuts in an emergency budget as Britain's government prepares to tackle the nation's record budget deficit. Aggressive spending cuts and austerity measures may provide a boost to the GBP.
4. USD- U.S. Existing Home Sales, the main gauge of the condition of the U.S. housing market measuring the number of closed sales of previously constructed homes, condominiums and co-ops, Tues., June 22, 10:00 am, ET.
The sales of existing homes are forecasted to increase to 6.23 M from 5.77 M, but last week's unexpected decline in U.S. housing starts could be followed by a surprising drop in home sales, exposing weakness in the U.S. housing market.
5. GBP- Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee Meeting Minutes, a comprehensive report of the central bank's meeting that could provide an outlook on the economy, interest rates and future monetary policy, Wed., June 23, 4:30 am, ET.
The minutes are likely to confirm the Bank of England policy makers' decision to hold rates at a record low for a 16th consecutive month, to keep the lid on the 200 billion Pounds Asset-Purchase Program, and to back the government's plans for spending cuts to lower the budget deficit.
6. USD- U.S. New Home Sales, an important gauge of housing market conditions measuring the number of newly constructed homes with a committed sale during the previous month, Wed., June 23, 10:00 am, ET.
The series of weaker housing reports could continue with a decline in new home sales to 435 K from 504 K, as single-family home starts suffered the biggest drop since 1991.
7. USD- U.S. FOMC- Federal Market Committee Interest Rate Announcement, Wed., June 23, 2:15 pm, ET.
The Fed may offer a more upbeat outlook on the U.S. economy but could reiterate that low inflation and high unemployment should warrant maintaining rates low for "extended period".
8. NZD- New Zealand GDP- Gross Domestic Product, the main measure of economic activity and growth, Wed., June 23, 6:45 pm, ET.
With the Reserve Bank of New Zealand already in a rate raising mode, faster economic recovery could lead to further interest rate hikes, although Q1 2010 economic growth could be revised lower to 0.5% q/q compared with Q4 2009 growth of 0.8% q/q.
9. USD- U.S. Durable Goods Orders, a leading indicator of economic activity measuring durable goods orders placed with domestic manufacturers, Thurs., June 24, 8:30 am, ET.
Manufacturing has been the leader of the U.S. economic recovery and the Core Durable Goods Orders could show more evidence of that with an increase by 1.1% from a previous -1.1% decline.
10. USD- U.S. GDP- Gross Domestic Product, the main measure of economic activity and growth in the world's largest economy, Fri., June 25, 8:30 am, ET.
The final reading of the U.S. GDP is expected to confirm economic growth at 3.0% in the first quarter of 2010.