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Forex – Weekly outlook: March 2 – 6

Investing.com –

Investing.com – The dollar pushed higher against the yen and the euro on Friday after data showed that the U.S. economy expanded modestly in the last quarter of 2014, supporting expectations for interest rate increases.

The Commerce Department reported that U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.2% in the last three months of 2014, down from an initial estimate of 2.6% but ahead of expectations for a downward revision to 2.1% growth.

Other reports showed that U.S. pending home sales rose to a one-and-a-half year high in January and consumer sentiment also remained strong.

The February reading of the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index was revised up to 95.4 from the preliminary reading of 93.6. While this was down from the previous months final reading of 98.1, it was still the second highest level since January 2007.

USD/JPY ticked up 0.13% to 119.56 in late trade, while EUR/USD was steady near one-month lows at 1.1194, off earlier highs of 1.1244.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, ended the day almost unchanged at 95.29, not far from Thursday’s one-month highs of 95.43.

The dollar rallied on Thursday after stronger-than-forecast data on U.S. durable goods orders added to indications that the economic recovery is on track.

Earlier in the week, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that if the economy keeps improving as the bank expects it will modify its forward guidance, but emphasized that a modification of its language should not be read as indicating that a rate hike would automatically happen within a number of meetings.

Among other currencies, the pound hit fresh seven-year highs against the euro on Friday and pushed higher against the dollar.

EUR/GBP was down 0.30% to 0.7247 in late trade, while GBP/USD advanced 0.21% to 1.5437, still below the previous session highs of 1.5551.

EUR/JPY was up 0.15% to 133.9, recovering from earlier one-month lows of 133.43.

In the week ahead, Friday’s U.S. employment report will be closely watched, while central banks in Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the euro zone are all to hold monetary policy meetings.

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

Monday, March 2

Australia is to release a report on company operating profits.

China is to publish the revised reading of the HSBC manufacturing index.

The U.K. is to publish private sector data on house price inflation, as well as what will be a closely watched report on manufacturing activity.

The euro zone is to produce preliminary data on consumer prices and a report on unemployment.

In the U.S., the Institute of Supply Management is to report on manufacturing activity.

Tuesday, March 3

The Reserve Bank of Australia is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish its rate statement, which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.

Australia is also to release reports on building approvals and the current account.

In the euro zone, Spain is to report on the change in the number of people employed.

The U.K. is to publish the results of a survey on construction sector activity.

Later Tuesday, Canada is to release the monthly report on gross domestic product.

Wednesday, March 4

Australia is to release data on fourth quarter GDP growth.

China is to publish the HSBC services index.

The euro zone is to release revised data on service sector output, as well as a report on retail sales.

The U.K. is also to release survey data on service sector activity.

The Bank of Canada is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish its rate statement.

The U.S. is to release the ADP non-farm payrolls report, while looks at private sector jobs growth. Later in the day, the ISM is to report on services sector activity.

Thursday, March 5

Australia is to publish report on retail sales and the trade balance.

In the euro area, Germany is to release data on factory orders.

The Bank of England is to announce its official bank rate.

The European Central Bank is also to announce its monetary policy decision. The rate announcement will be followed by a post-policy meeting press conference with President Mario Draghi.

The U.S. is to release the weekly report on initial jobless claims and data on factory orders.

Canada is to publish its Ivey PMI.

Friday, March 6

The Swiss National Bank is to publish data on its foreign currency reserves. This data is closely scrutinized for indications of the size of the bank’s operations in currency markets.

Switzerland is also to release data on consumer prices.

Both the U.S. and Canada are to release trade data and Canada is also to report on building permits.

The U.S. is to round up the week with the closely watched government report on nonfarm payrolls, the unemployment rate and average earnings.

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