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Forex - EUR/USD weekly outlook: May 19 - 23

Published 05/18/2014, 10:55 AM
Euro ends week lower against dollar amid euro zone growth fears
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Investing.com - The euro slid lower against the dollar on Friday following the release of uneven U.S. data, as concerns over the strength of the recovery in the euro zone added to pressure on the European Central Bank to ease monetary policy.

EUR/USD was at 1.3693 late Friday, holding just above the two-and-a-half month low of 1.3647 struck in the previous session. For the week, the pair was down 0.45%.

The pair is likely to find support at 1.3647 and resistance at 1.3731, Thursday’s high.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that U.S. housing starts rose 13.2% last month, after a 2.0% increase in March.

It was the largest increase in five months, indicating that the economy is shaking off the effect of a weather related slowdown over the winter.

The upbeat housing data was overshadowed by a report showing that consumer confidence in the U.S. deteriorated this month. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index dropped to 81.8, from 84.1 in April. Analysts had expected a slight uptick to 84.5.

The single currency remained under pressure after weaker-than-expected data on euro zone first quarter growth on Thursday added to pressure on the ECB to ease monetary policy at its next meeting in June, in order to safeguard the recovery in the region.

The euro zone’s gross domestic product grew just 0.2% in the first quarter Eurostat reported, compared to expectations for growth of 0.4% and expanded by a smaller than expected 0.9% from a year earlier.

The French economy stagnated in the first three months of the year, while Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands all reported contractions.

Germany’s economy, the euro zone largest, outperformed in the first three months of the year, expanding 0.8%, beating expectations of 0.7%.

Also Thursday, Eurostat reported that the annual rate of inflation in the euro zone was unchanged at 0.7% in April, in line with forecasts. The inflation rate is still well below the ECB target of close to but just under 2%.

Meanwhile comments by a senior EBC official fuelled speculation that the bank is preparing to act at its next meeting to shore up the recovery in the currency bloc and stop inflation from falling too low.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said Thursday the central bank was open to more monetary easing and was determined to act swiftly if required.

EUR/JPY ended Friday’s session at 139.03, down 0.17% for the day, after falling to lows of 138.78 earlier in the session, the weakest since February 12.

In the week ahead, investors will be looking to the minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting, due for release on Wednesday, for insight on the central bank's view of the economy.

The euro zone is to publish what will be closely watched data on private sector activity on Thursday.

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

Monday, May 19

Germany’s Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann is to speak at an event in Frankfurt; his comment will be closely watched. Later in the day the German central bank is to publish its monthly report.

Tuesday 20

In the euro zone, Germany is to release data on producer price inflation.

In the U.S., Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Charles Plosser and Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley are to speak.

Wednesday, May 21

The euro zone is to release data on the current account.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen is to speak at an event in New York. Later Wednesday, the Fed is to publish the minutes of its latest meeting.

Thursday, May 22

The euro zone is to release data on manufacturing and service sector activity, while Germany and France are to release individual reports.

The U.S. is to release its weekly report on initial jobless claims and private sector data on existing home sales.

Friday, May 23

In the euro zone, the Ifo Institute is to publish data on German business climate.

The U.S. is to round up the week with data on new homes sales.

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