Investing.com - The New Zealand dollar ended Friday's session sharply lower against its U.S. counterpart, as mounting concerns over a slowdown in growth in China dampened demand for the kiwi.
NZD/USD hit 0.7754 on Friday, the pair's lowest since July 8; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.7774 by close of trade on Friday, down 1% for the day but still up 0.9% for the week.
The pair is likely to find support at 0.7716, the low from June 26 and resistance at 0.7857, the high from July 4.
The kiwi came under pressure after China's finance minister said on Friday he expected growth in the world's second-largest economy to come in at 7% this year, below the government's official forecast of 7.5%.
Official data released Wednesday showed that Chinese exports fell unexpectedly in June from a year earlier, fuelling concerns over a slowdown in global demand.
Imports were also lower on a year-over-year basis, indicating that domestic demand was weakening as well.
China is New Zealand's second biggest export partner.
Meanwhile, comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke earlier in the week prompted traders to reassess expectations on the timing of a possible reduction to the central bank's easing program.
Bernanke said on Wednesday that the Fed will continue to maintain accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future, citing low levels of inflation and the high unemployment rate.
The comments came after the minutes of the central bank's June policy meeting showed that Fed policymakers remain divided over when to begin tapering its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program.
Around half of Fed policymakers believe the bank should start to scale back bond purchases by the end of the year, while many others believe the labor market still remains too weak.
Data on Friday showed that U.S. consumer sentiment ticked lower in July, with the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index slipping to 83.9 from 84.1 in June, compared to expectations for a reading of 85.0.
In the week ahead, investors will be looking ahead to U.S. data on retail sales, consumer inflation and housing sector activity to further gauge the strength of the U.S. economy.
Market players will also be looking ahead to Monday's data on Chinese economic growth as well as industrial production figures, amid mounting concerns over the country's economic outlook.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets. The guide skips Friday as there are no relevant events on this day.
Monday, July 15
China is to release official data on second quarter gross domestic product, the broadest indicator of economic activity and the leading measure of the economy's health. Beijing is also to produce data on industrial production and fixed asset investment.
Later Monday, the U.S. 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 also to publish the Empire state manufacturing index and a report on business inventories.
Tuesday, July 16
New Zealand is to release official data on consumer price inflation, which accounts for the majority of overall inflation.
The U.S. is to release official data on consumer price inflation, industrial production and the capacity utilization rate.
Wednesday, July 17
The U.S. is to release official data on building permits, a leading indicator of future construction sector activity, as well as data on housing starts. The Federal Reserve is to release its Beige book.
Thursday, July 18
The U.S. is to release the weekly government report on initial jobless claims and the Philly Fed manufacturing index.
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