Investing.com - The dollar ended the week higher against the yen
on Friday as market sentiment was boosted by easing tensions over
Ukraine, while upbeat U.S. economic reports also supported the
USD/JPY touched highs of 102.57 on Friday, before ending the
session at 102.40, rising 0.49% for the week. Trade volumes
remained thin on Friday, with most markets closed for the Easter
weekend, although markets in Tokyo were open.
Concerns over the crisis in eastern Ukraine eased on Thursday
after Russia, Ukraine, the U.S. and the European Union said an
agreement on steps to "de-escalate" the crisis had been
The dollar also received a boost after upbeat U.S. data on
manufacturing and employment on Thursday pointed to underlying
strength in the economy.
The Labor Department reported the number of people filing for
unemployment benefits edged up to 304,000, below analysts'
forecasts and not far from the six-and-a-half year low of 300,000
touched the previous week.
GBP/USD edged up 0.06% to 1.6798 at Friday's close, and ended
the week 0.45% higher. The pair rose to highs of 1.6840 on
Thursday, the strongest since November 18 2009. Sterling
strengthened broadly after data earlier in the week showed that the
U.K. unemployment rate fell to a five year low of 6.9% in the three
months to February.
The upbeat data bolstered expectations that the Bank of England
could raise interest rates as soon as the first quarter of
The euro was little changed against the dollar on Friday, with
EUR/USD settling at 1.3810.
The euro's gains were held in check after recent comments by
European Central Bank officials flagged concerns over the impact of
the strong currency on the inflation outlook.
On Thursday, ECB Executive Board member Yves Mersch said that if
foreign exchange developments with an impact on inflation continue
it would trigger a reaction by the central bank.
Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar posted its largest weekly
decline against the greenback since January, with NZD/USD ending
the week down 1.24% to 0.8576, ahead of the Reserve Bank's rate
review on Thursday.
In the week ahead, market watchers will be focusing on U.S. data
on housing and manufacturing activity, while manufacturing data
from China will also be closely watched. The euro zone is to
release data on private sector activity, while the U.K. is to
produce a report on retail sales.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of
these and other significant events likely to affect the
Monday, April 21
Markets in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and the euro zone
are to remain closed for Easter Monday. Meanwhile, Japan is to
release data on the trade balance.
Tuesday, April 22
Australia is to publish an index of leading economic
Canada is to produce data on wholesale sales.
The U.S. is to release private sector data on existing home
Wednesday, April 23
Australia is to publish data on consumer price inflation, which
accounts for the majority of overall inflation.
China is to release the preliminary estimate of the HSBC
manufacturing index, a leading indicator of economic health.
The euro zone is to release preliminary data on manufacturing
and service sector activity, a leading indicator of economic
health. Germany and France are also to release individual
The U.K. is to release data on public sector borrowing, while
the BoE is to publish the minutes of its April meeting. The nation
is also to publish private sector data on industrial order
Canada is to produce official data on retail sales, the
government measure of consumer spending, which accounts for the
majority of overall economic activity.
The U.S. is to publish reports on new home sales and
Thursday, April 24
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is to announce its benchmark
interest rate and publish its rate statement, which outlines
economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy
In the euro zone, Germany is to release the Ifo report on
ECB President Mario Draghi is to speak at an event in Amsterdam;
his comments will be closely watched.
The U.S. is to publish data on durable goods orders and the
weekly report on initial jobless claims.
Friday, April 25
Markets in Australia and New Zealand will be closed for the
Anzac Day holiday.
Japan is to release data on consumer inflation.
The U.K. is to produce data on retail sales.
The U.S. is to round up the week with revised data on consumer
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