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Forex - Weekly outlook: February 20 - 24

Investing.com -

Investing.com - The dollar rose against most of the other major currencies on Friday, with the exception of the yen, as political turbulence in the U.S. continued to underpin safe haven demand.

USD/JPY was down 0.36% at 112.84 as concerns about the upcoming French presidential elections and the lack of clarity on President Donald Trump's fiscal policies spurred safe haven demand.

The euro weakened broadly amid concerns that the French left could unite behind one candidate in the upcoming elections, possibly knocking centrist and right nominees out of the race in the first round.

This possible alliance could increase the chances of anti-European Union Marine Le Pen winning the presidency in the second-round runoff.

EUR/USD was down 0.55% to 1.0614, holding above the five-week lows of 1.0520 set on Wednesday.

The single currency was also weaker against the yen, with EUR/JPY dropping 0.94% to 119.74.

Weakness in the euro helped shore up the dollar which had drifted broadly lower on Thursday as political uncertainty in the U.S. prompted investors to take profits in the wake of recent gains in the currency, despite better-than-expected economic data and a brighter outlook for interest rate hikes.

Data on Wednesday showed that U.S. consumer price inflation jumped 0.6% in January, the biggest increase in almost four years.

Another report showed that U.S. retail sales also outstripped expectations, increasing 0.4% last month.

The upbeat data came a day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said in testimony to the U.S. Senate that the bank is on course to raise interest rates at one of its forthcoming meetings.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.44% to 100.89 late Friday, reversing Thursday's 0.72% drop and leaving it up 0.16% for the week.

In the holiday shortened week ahead, the Fed is to publish the minutes of its February meeting on Wednesday, which will be scrutinized for clues on the timing of the next rate hike.

Investors will be looking to U.S. housing data in order to see whether the rise in consumer spending and inflation is translating into higher house prices and a pick-up in home sales.

Markets will also be watching survey data on private sector activity in the euro zone on Tuesday.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday February 20

Financial markets in the U.S. will be closed for the Presidents Day holiday.

Canada is to release data on wholesale sales.

Tuesday, February 21

The Reserve Bank of Australia is to publish the minutes of its latest monetary policy meeting, giving investors insight into how officials view the economy and their policy options.

The euro zone is to release survey data on private sector business activity.

The UK is to report on public sector borrowing.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is to speak at an event in Minnesota and Philadelphia Fed head Patrick Harker is to speak at an event in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, February 22

RBA Governor Philip Lowe is to speak at an event in Sydney.

Australia is to release data on completed construction work and the wage price index.

The Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.

The UK is to release revised figures on fourth quarter growth.

Canada is to publish data on retail sales.

The U.S. is to release industry data on existing home sales and later the Fed is to publish the minutes of its February policy meeting.

Thursday, February 23

Australia is to report on private capital expenditure.

The U.S. is to release the weekly report in initial jobless claims.

Friday, February 24

RBA Governor Philip Lowe is to speak at an event in Sydney.

Canada is to publish figures on inflation.

The U.S. is to round up the week with data on new home sales and a revised report on consumer sentiment.

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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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