Investing.com - The euro was higher against the dollar on Friday following the release of weaker-than-expected data on U.S. existing home sales, amid ongoing concerns over the impact of severe winter weather on the economic recovery.
EUR/USD ended Friday’s session up 0.15% at 1.3739, holding below the seven-week high of 1.3772 reached on Wednesday. For the week, the pair gained 0.26%.
The pair is likely to find support at 1.3584, Thursday’s low and resistance at 1.3772, Wednesday’s high and a seven-week high.
The dollar slid against the euro after data showed that U.S. existing home sales fell by a larger-than-forecast 5.1% in January, dropping to an 18-month low.
The report came on the heels of a recent series of disappointing U.S. economic reports, which investors have attributed to severely cold winter weather.
Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s January meeting showed that officials agreed the current pace of reductions to the bank’s asset purchase program would remain unchanged, so long as the economy shows signs of improvement.
The U.S. central bank is currently purchasing $65 billion of assets per month.
The euro’s gains were held in check after survey data on Thursday showed that private sector activity in the euro area slowed in February.
The Markit euro zone composite output index ticked down to a two month low of 52.7 this month, but remained close to January’s 31-month high of 52.9.
A modest pickup in euro zone service sector activity was offset by an easing the rate of manufacturing output. However, manufacturing activity continued to outperform services activity, due in large part to strong export demand from outside the euro area.
Germany’s composite output index rose to a 32-month high this month, but France’s composite index fell to a two-month low, as service sector activity declined at the fastest rate in nine months.
In the week ahead, the euro zone is to release what will be closely watched preliminary data on consumer price inflation on Friday. U.S. data on durable goods orders and consumer confidence 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.
Monday, February 24
The euro zone is to release revised data on consumer price inflation, while the Ifo Institute is to publish a report on German business climate.
Tuesday, February 25
The European Commission is to publish its economic forecasts for European Union member states.
The U.S. is to release data on consumer confidence and a private sector report on house price inflation.
Wednesday, February 26
In the euro zone, Germany is to release a report on Gfk consumer climate.
The U.S. is to release data on new home sales, a leading indicator of demand in the housing market.
Thursday, February 27
In the euro zone, Germany is to publish preliminary data on consumer inflation, as well as data on the change in the number of people unemployed.
The U.S. is to release data on durable goods orders, a leading indicator of production, and the weekly report on initial jobless claims.
Friday, February 28
The euro zone is to release preliminary data on consumer inflation and a separate report on the unemployment rate across the currency bloc. Germany is to publish data on retail sales.
The U.S. is to round up the week with revised data on fourth quarter growth, a report on manufacturing activity in the Chicago region, revised data on consumer sentiment and private sector data on pending home sales.
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