Investing.com – The dollar ended the week lower against a basket of other major currencies on Friday as investors pushed back expectations for higher U.S. interest rates after a recent run of soft economic data dampened optimism on the recovery.
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 dollar was lower against the yen for a sixth straight session on Friday, with USD/JPY at 118.93 in late trade. The pair ended the week down 1.06%.
The dollar fell to two-week lows against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF sliding 0.43% to 0.9519.
EUR/USD was up 0.43% to 1.0808 late Friday, bringing the week’s gains to 1.89%.
The single currency strengthened 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.
The pound also gained ground against the dollar, with GBP/USD hitting one-month highs of 1.5054 on Friday, before pulling back to 1.4958 in late trade.
Sterling’s gains were held in check amid uncertainty over the outcome of parliamentary elections due to take place on May 7.
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%.
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.
In the euro zone, Tuesday’s ZEW report on German economic sentiment and Thursday’s reports on private sector activity will 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.
Monday, April 20
New Zealand is to release data on consumer price inflation.
Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens is to speak at an event in New York.
Tuesday, April 21
The RBA is to publish the minutes of its latest policy meeting, giving investors insight into how officials view the economy and their policy options.
In the euro zone, the ZEW Institute is to report on German economic sentiment.
Canada is to publish a report on wholesale sales.
Wednesday, April 22
Japan is to publish data on the trade balance.
Australia is to publish data on consumer price inflation.
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
Australia is to release private sector data on business confidence.
China is to release private sector data on manufacturing activity.
Switzerland is to publish data on the trade balance.
The euro zone is to release survey data on private sector economic activity, while Spain is to release its employment report.
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
In the euro zone, the Ifo Institute is to report on German business climate.
The U.S. is to round up the week with a report on durable goods orders.