On the upcoming economic calendar for Thursday, January 8th there are four key news releases to be aware of.

The first release, which is tentatively scheduled but usually follows the interest rate announcement at 07:00, will be the MPC rate statement from the United Kingdom. The interest rate sets the tone for mortgages, commercial loans, and all economic lending criteria. This is the single most important reason why currencies are bought and sold. A strong interest rate and robust business cycle will attract foreign investment. A weak interest rate will normally lead to a weak currency as investors swap the higher yielding currency for a profit. Analysts are expecting the Bank of England to reduce the overnight lending rate by 50 basis points to 1.5 percent.

At 08:30 the United States will be revealing unemployment claims for the past week. Economists have predicted the figure to rise by 52K from last week to 545K claims. This release measures the number of jobs created, or the percentage of employed/unemployed in the labor market. A currency will strengthen or weaken in-line with the other releases that the employment data impacts, rather than as a knee-jerk reaction to these numbers printing.

Lastly, at 10:00 Canada will be releasing the Ivey PMI. This release measures the activities of purchasing managers, who are surveyed on production, employment, inventories, orders, and delivery statistics. As an indicator of economic performance the PMI has the ability to easily affect currency valuations as Institutions re-align existing positions, or build new, on the strength of these reports. Expectations are for the reading to be 37.5, slightly lower than last month's 40.2.