Here are the Top Forex Developments for the trading week between 01/12/15 and 01/16/15:
Number One: SNB Announcement
The SNB surprised the markets on Thursday and unleashed a financial tsunami which caused some of the biggest forex brokers to go bankrupt as the Swiss Franc rallied as much as 41% against the Euro during the trading session. This may have been the biggest financial fallout in this decade and the effects will ripple through the forex market over the next few trading weeks.
Number Two: US Advanced Retail Sales
Retail sales for December painted a horrific picture of the US consumer during the holiday shopping season. Expectations were already negative with a 0.1% contraction accounted for. The report showed a plunge of 0.9% in December. November was revised down to show an increase of only 0.4%. Retail sales excluding autos were even worse with a contraction of 1.0% and a downward revision to November of just 0.1%.
Number Three: Australian Employment Report
The Australian labor market was good for a positive surprise as it performed much better than expected in December. Expectations called for an increase of 5,000 jobs in December and an unemployment rate of 6.3%. The report showed an increase of 37,400 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 6.1%. Full-time employment rose by 41,600 which was a big positive, but the Australian Dollar failed to breakout above its trading range.
Number Four: Japanese Machine Orders
Economists expected a rebound in machine orders in November of 4.4% month-over-month and a contraction of 6.3% year-over-year. This would have been an improvement over the 6.4% contraction reported in October month-over-month, but worse than the 4.9% annualized contraction. The report disappointed forex traders and showed an increase of only 1.3% month-over-month and a contraction of 14.6% year-over-year. The Japanese Yen remained near its highs despite the disappointment.
Number Five: Chinese Foreign Direct Investment
Foreign Direct Investment plunged to 10.3% in December year-over-year. This disappointed forex traders expecting an increase of 22.1% in December which would have marked a minor slowdown from November’s level of 22.2%. This is a negative development and shows more troubling developments out of China. This could have a ripple effect on the forex markets.