Investing.com – The pound rose to one-month highs against the broadly weaker dollar on Friday as investors scaled back expectations for higher U.S. interest rates after a recent string of lackluster economic reports.
GBP/USD touched highs of 1.5054 on Friday, the most since March 18 before pulling back to 1.4958 in late trade. The pair ended the week with gains of 2.2%.
The dollar shrugged off data on Friday showing that U.S. consumer prices were higher for a second successive month in March.
The Labor Department reported that the consumer price index edged up 0.2% last month, matching a similar gain in February. On a year-over-year basis, consumer prices dipped 0.1% in March after remaining flat in February.
Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy costs increased 0.2% in March for an annual increase of 1.8%, the largest since October.
The report came after data earlier in the week showed that U.S. retail sales for March came in below expectations. Another report, showing a larger-than-forecast drop in industrial output pointed to a slowdown the first quarter.
The string of weak data added to the view that the Federal Reserve could push back hiking interest rates until late 2015 from midyear.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last down to 97.62 late Friday. The index ended the week down 1.9%.
Sterling’s gains were held in check amid uncertainty over the outcome of parliamentary elections due to take place on May 7.
Elsewhere, the pound was lower against the euro, with EUR/GBP up 0.28% to 0.7225 in late trade.
The single currency gained in spite of concerns that Athens is no closer to reaching an agreement on economic reforms for bailout funds with its creditors, fuelling fears that Greece could be forced out of the euro zone.
In the week ahead, investors will be looking ahead to reports on the U.S. housing sector and data on durable goods orders for further indications on the strength of the recovery. Wednesday’s Bank of England minutes and Thursday’s retail sales report for the U.K. will also be in focus.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets. The guide skips Monday and Tuesday as there are no relevant events on these days.
Wednesday, April 22
The Bank of England is to publish the minutes of its latest meeting.
Later in the day, the U.S. is to release data on existing home sales.
Thursday, April 23
The U.K. is to release reports on retail sales and public sector borrowing.
Later Thursday, the U.S. is to report in initial jobless claims and new home sales.
Friday, April 24
The U.S. is to round up the week with a report on durable goods orders.