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Forex - USD/CHF weekly outlook: March 4 - 8

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Shutterstock photo - The broadly stronger dollar rose to almost five-month highs against the Swiss franc on Friday as robust U.S. data fuelled hopes for an early end to the Federal Reserve's easing program, while safe haven demand also boosted the greenback.

USD/CHF hit a session high of 0.9463 on Friday; the pair's highest since November 16, before settling at 0.9436, 0.75% higher for the day and up 1.25% on the week.

The pair is likely to find support at 0.9350, Friday's low and resistance at 0.9497, the high of November 9.

Data on Friday showed that the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded at its fastest pace since June 2011 last month, while a separate report showed that U.S. consumer confidence rose in February.

The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to 54.2 from 53.1 in January, while the final reading of the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index came in at 77.6, from a preliminary reading of 76.3.

Meanwhile, safe haven demand was supported after weak manufacturing data out of the U.K. and the euro zone fuelled concerns over the outlook for global growth.

Revised data showed that manufacturing activity in the euro zone contracted in February at the same pace as in January, while the U.K. manufacturing sector suffered a shock contraction last month.

Worries that Italy would not be able to continue to implement structural reforms and austerity measures following inconclusive election results also weighed on market sentiment.

The dollar found support amid worries over U.S. spending cuts, known as the sequester, after lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on a deficit reduction plan.

In the week ahead, markets will be focusing on interest rate decisions by the European Central Bank, Bank of England, Reserve Bank of Australia, Bank of Canada and the Bank of Japan. In addition, Friday's data on U.S. nonfarm payrolls will be closely watched as investors attempt to gauge the strength of the economic recovery.

Ahead of the coming week, has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets. The guide skips Monday as there are no relevant events on this day.

Tuesday, March 5

In the U.S., the Institute of Supply Management is to release a report on service sector activity, a leading indicator of economic health.

Wednesday, March 6

The U.S. is to publish data on ADP nonfarm payrolls, which leads government data on nonfarm payrolls by two days. The U.S. is also to release official data on factory orders and crude oil stockpiles.

Thursday, March 7

The Swiss National Bank is to release data on foreign currency reserves, which gives a valuable insight into the scale of the bank's currency market operations.

The U.S. is to publish the weekly government report on initial jobless claims and official data on the trade balance.

Friday, March 8

Switzerland is to produce government data on consumer price inflation, which accounts for the majority of overall inflation.

The U.S. is to round up the week with government data on nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate and data on average hourly earnings. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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