Investing.com - The New Zealand ended Friday’s session little changed against its U.S. counterpart on Friday, as market players continued to monitor developments in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
NZD/USD fell to 0.8500 on Thursday, the pair’s lowest since March 12, before subsequently consolidating at 0.8536 by close of trade on Friday, little changed for the day and 0.02% higher for the week.
The pair is likely to find support at 0.8500, the low from March 20 and resistance at 0.8567, the high from March 21.
Caution returned to markets as the political standoff between the West and Russia following the annexation of Crimea escalated, after the U.S. imposed harsher sanctions on Moscow.
The European Union also agreed to wider sanctions against Russia on Friday, fanning concerns over the impact on global growth.
The greenback had racked up strong gains against the kiwi in the previous two sessions, bolstered by expectations that the Federal Reserve could hike interest rates earlier than previously thought.
The U.S. dollar rallied across the board Wednesday after Fed Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the bank could begin to raise interest rates about six months after its bond-buying program winds up, which is expected to happen this fall.
The comments prompted investors to bring forward expectations for a rate hike to as soon as March of next year.
The Fed also reduced its monthly bond purchases by an additional $10 billion to $55 billion at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting, and said there was “underlying strength in the broader economy.”
Meanwhile, in New Zealand, official data released Wednesday showed that the country’s economy expanded by 0.9% in the fourth quarter, below expectations for growth of 1%.
Data from the Commodities Futures Trading Commission released Friday showed that speculators increased their bullish bets on the New Zealand dollar in the week ending March 18.
Net longs totaled 15,751 contracts as of last week, up 8.2% from net longs of 14,449 contracts in the previous week.
In the coming week, investors will be looking ahead to U.S. data from the housing sector, as well as reports on consumer confidence and durable goods to further gauge the strength of the economy.
Attention will also turn to the release of HSBC''s March China Purchasing Managers'' Index for manufacturing, due Monday. The Asian nation is New Zealand''s second biggest export partner.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, March 24
China is to release the preliminary estimate of the HSBC manufacturing index, a leading indicator of economic health.
The U.S. is to release preliminary data on manufacturing activity.
Tuesday, March 25
The U.S. is to release report on house price inflation and consumer confidence, as well as official data on new home sales.
Wednesday, March 26
The U.S. is to release data on durable goods orders, a leading indicator of production.
New Zealand is to release data on the trade balance, the difference in value between imports and exports.
Thursday, March 27
The U.S. is to publish final data on fourth quarter economic growth. The nation is also to release the weekly report on initial jobless claims and private sector data on pending home sales.
Friday, March 28
The U.S. is to round up the week with a report on personal spending and revised data on consumer sentiment.
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