Investing.com - The New Zealand dollar rose to a one-month high against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, as disappointing U.S. economic data forced investors to recalibrate their assumptions about the future course of the Federal Reserve''s monetary policy.
NZD/USD rose to 0.8385 on Friday, the pair’s highest January 14, before subsequently consolidating at 0.8369 by close of trade, up 0.32% for the day and 0.87% higher for the week.
The pair is likely to find support at 0.8291, the low from February 13 and resistance at 0.8385, Friday’s high.
The U.S. dollar slid after data showed that U.S. industrial production fell 0.3% from a month earlier in January, compared to expectations for a 0.3% gain.
This disappointing factory report came one day after the Commerce Department said that retail sales fell 0.4% in January, confounding expectations for a 0.3% increase.
The soft data fuelled concerns that the economic recovery has lost momentum since the end of last year as inclement winter weather weighed on growth.
The greenback came under additional pressure after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen reassured that U.S. monetary policy will remain accommodative.
In her first Congressional testimony since her appointment as Fed Chair, Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the central bank would continue to gradually reduce the pace of its asset purchase program.
She also reiterated that the Fed plans to hold interest rates at zero “well past” the time the jobless rate falls below 6.5%.
Meanwhile, the kiwi continued to draw support amid growing expectations for a near-term rate hike by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. The RBNZ indicated earlier in the month that rates are likely to rise in March.
Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that speculators reduced their bullish bets on the New Zealand dollar in the week ending February 11.
Net longs totaled 7,641 contracts as of last week, down 4.9% from net longs of 8,032 contracts in the previous week.
In the week ahead, market players will continue to pay close attention to U.S. economic data releases for further indications on the strength of the economy and the future course of monetary policy.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, February 17
Markets in the U.S. are to remain closed for the Presidents Day holiday.
Tuesday, February 18
The U.S. is to release data on manufacturing activity in the Empire State.
Wednesday, February 19
The U.S. is to publish reports on building permits, housing starts and producer price inflation.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is to publish the minutes of its most recent policy setting meeting.
Thursday, February 20
The U.S. is to release the weekly report on initial jobless claims and data on consumer price inflation. The nation is also to release data on manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region.
Friday, February 21
The U.S. is to round up the week with private sector data on existing homes sales.
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