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Forex - Weekly outlook: February 15 - 19

ForexFeb 14, 2016 11:25AM ET
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© Reuters. Dollar rebounds against yen after solid U.S. retail sales report

Investing.com - The dollar regained ground on Friday after forecast beating U.S. retail sales figures for January supported the view that the Federal Reserve is likely to stay on a tightening path as other world central banks ease monetary policy.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.2% last month, beating expectations for an increase of 0.1%.

Retail figures used to calculate gross domestic product, which exclude cars, fuel, building materials and food services, rose 0.6% in January after a 0.3% fall in the previous month.

The upbeat data boosted the dollar against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.7% at 113.21 in late trade, extending a pullback from 15-month lows of 110.96 set on Thursday.

Despite the rebound in the dollar, the pair still ended the week down 3.19% as persistent concerns over slowing global growth, the effects of negative interest rates on banks and falling oil prices underpinned demand for the safe haven yen.

The dollar was also higher against the euro and the Swiss franc, which tends to be bought by investors in times of risk aversion, with EUR/USD down 0.6% at 1.1254 late Friday and USD/CHF rising 0.52% to 0.9774.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.37% at 95.99, off Thursday’s three-and-a-half month lows of 95.28. The index still ended the week down 1.1%, the second straight weekly decline.

In the euro zone, data on Friday showed that the economy grew just 0.3% in the fourth quarter, matching growth in the previous quarter.

The weak data added to pressure on the European Central Bank to ramp up its monetary easing program as concerns over the outlook for the global economy mount.

In the week ahead investors will be watching U.S. inflation data for indications on whether the Federal Reserve will raise rates at all this year.

China is to release what will be closely watched trade and inflation data and China’s markets are to reopen Monday after the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

Canada and the U.K. are also to release their monthly inflation reports.

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

Monday, February 15

Japan is to publish preliminary data on fourth quarter economic growth.

China is to report on the trade balance.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is to testify on monetary policy before the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, in Brussels.

Markets in both the U.S. and Canada will be closed for national holidays.

Tuesday, February 16

New Zealand is to publish data on retail sales and inflation expectations.

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 U.K. is to publish data on consumer inflation.

In the euro zone, the ZEW Institute is to report on German economic sentiment.

Canada is to publish data on manufacturing sales.

The U.S. is to release a report manufacturing activity in the New York region.

Wednesday, February 17

The U.K. is to publish the monthly employment report.

The U.S. is to release data on producer prices, building permits, housing starts and industrial production.

Later Wednesday, the Fed is to issue the minutes of its January monetary policy meeting, where it kept rates on hold.

Thursday, February 18

Australia is to publish the monthly employment report.

China is to release data on consumer and producer price inflation.

The ECB is to publish the minutes of its most recent policy meeting.

Canada is to publish data on wholesale sales.

The U.S. is to produce reports on manufacturing activity in Philadelphia and initial jobless claims.

Friday, February 19

The U.K. is to release data on retail sales and public sector borrowing.

Canada is to produce reports on inflation and retail sales.

The U.S. is to round up the week with data on consumer inflation.

Forex - Weekly outlook: February 15 - 19

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