The week is starting off on a data-light note with geopolitical tensions moving the pairs. Between the U.S.-China trade tensions, U.K. Brexit negotiations, and surprise immigration demands in Germany, there is no lack of global uncertainty to keep investors guessing. After a series of central bank speeches kicking off the week Monday, we have U.S. housing starts for May Tuesday and a Bank of England interest rate decision Thursday.
Monday central bank talk
The European Central Bank is holding a forum on central banking this week in Sintra, Portugal. Central bankers from across the globe will speak this week, starting with ECB President Mario Draghi making the opening remarks Monday.
Last week, Draghi sent the euro diving after his dovish press conference and news from the ECB that it didn’t see interest rates rising until summer 2019. Investors will likely read more into Draghi’s speech than normal in an attempt to get more insight on the ECB’s outlook.
Separately Monday, the New York Federal Reserve is hosting a forum on banking culture. Outgoing New York Fed President William Dudley spoke this morning and incoming President John Williams is speaking later today.
U.S. housing starts Tuesday
We’ll get our first possibly market-moving economic release on Tuesday with U.S. housing starts for May.
Housing starts are expected to increase as weather improved in May, but building permits are expected to have fallen for the month.
Month-over-month housing starts are estimated to come in at 1.317 million compared to 1.287 million in April. Building permits for May are expected at 1.350 million compared to 1.352 in April.
The data could see the dollar gaining more on the euro. The greenback is pushing the EUR/USD pair lower Monday morning, dipping below 1.160 a couple times.
Bank of England rate decision Thursday
The Bank of England is widely expected to keep interest rates steady on Thursday, but its monetary policy summary and minutes will still be watched closely.
Inflation and economic growth in the U.K. have grown at a slow pace, almost ensuring that BoE will hold rates steady at 0.5%. We’ll see how the pound reacts on Thursday.
In the background for the pound is the E.U. withdrawal bill, which goes back to the House of Commons this week after Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a blow from the House of Lords. Lords voted in favor of an amendment to give MPs a bigger role in the government if there is not an acceptable deal by February. Downing Street was trying to minimize the role of MPs in the Brexit bill.
Last week, May faced a potential rebellion from Tory MPs, but was able to temporarily quell the group.
GBP/USD was trading around the 1.32 midpoint midday Monday.
Opec meeting may boost production
There is a key Opec meeting in Vienna this week that could determine whether oil production will be increased.
Oil gained Monday morning ahead of the meeting and the commodity-driven Canadian dollar slipped against USD. USD/CAD is reaching one-year highs of 1.322.
The key decision for the meeting is if Saudi Arabia and Russia will boost output.