Investing.com - The dollar ended the week lower against the safe haven yen and Swiss franc on Friday as fresh tensions over hostilities in eastern Ukraine underpinned safe haven demand.
USD/JPY touched one-week lows of 101.96 on Friday before settling at 102.18, ending the week down 0.48%. USD/CHF ended Friday’s session at 0.8814 after falling to lows of 0.8803 earlier and ended the week down 0.42%.
Concerns over the conflict between Russian and Ukraine escalated on Friday after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned that Washington was ready to step up sanctions on Russia. The West is accusing Russia of leading a separatist revolt in eastern Ukraine after it annexed Crimea last month.
The yen held gains despite data on Friday showing that Japanese inflation remained unchanged for a third successive month in April. The weak data fuelled expectations that the Bank of Japan will implement a fresh round of monetary stimulus this year, which would weigh on the yen.
Elsewhere, the euro was flat against the dollar on Friday, with EUR/USD settling at 1.3833. For the week, the pair rose 0.30%.
The euro’s gains were held in check after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated warnings on Thursday that the strong euro could trigger further monetary easing. He also said the ECB could launch a "broad-based" asset purchase program if the medium-term inflation outlook deteriorated.
In the U.S., data on Friday showed that consumer confidence rose to a nine-month high in April, adding to signs that the economy is improving.
The University of Michigan reported that its consumer sentiment index came in at 84.1 this month, up from 80 in March and the preliminary reading of 82.6. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 83.0.
In the week ahead, investors will be focusing on Friday’s U.S. jobs report for April and the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting on Wednesday. Wednesday preliminary April inflation report for the euro zone will also be closely watched.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.
Monday, April 28
Japan is to release data on retail sales, the government measure of consumer spending, which accounts for the majority of overall economic activity.
The U.S. is to release private sector data on pending home sales.
Tuesday, April 29
Markets in Japan are to remain closed for a holiday.
New Zealand is to publish data on the trade balance, the difference in value between imports and exports.
In the euro zone, Germany is to release preliminary data on consumer price inflation and a report by market research group Gfk on consumer climate, while Spain is to release data on the unemployment rate.
The U.K. is to release preliminary data on first quarter gross domestic product, the broadest indicator of economic activity and the leading measure of the economy’s health.
The U.S. is to a report compiled by the Conference Board on consumer confidence.
Later Tuesday, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is to speak; his comments will be closely watched.
Wednesday, April 30
New Zealand is to release data on building consents and business confidence.
Japan is to publish data on average cash earnings and industrial production. At the same time, the Bank of Japan is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish its monetary policy statement, which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the bank’s decision. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference.
In the euro zone, Germany is to publish reports on retail sales and unemployment change. Spain is to release preliminary data on first quarter growth. The wider euro zone is to release preliminary data on consumer price inflation.
Switzerland is to publish its KOF economic barometer.
Canada is to publish the monthly report on GDP growth.
The U.S. is to release preliminary data on first quarter GDP, as well as the ADP report on private sector job creation, which leads the government’s nonfarm payrolls report by two days. The U.S. is also to release data on manufacturing activity in the Chicago region.
Later Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is to announce its federal funds rate and publish its rate statement.
Thursday, May 1
Markets in China, the euro zone and Switzerland will remain closed for the Labor Day holiday.
China is to release official data on manufacturing activity.
The U.K. is also to produce a report on manufacturing activity, in addition to data on net lending.
The U.S. is to publish the weekly report on initial jobless claims. At the same time, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is to speak at an event in Washington; her comments will be closely watched.
Later Thursday, the Institute of Supply Management is to release a report on manufacturing activity.
Friday, May 2
Markets in China are to remain closed for the Labor Day holiday. Japan is to publish data on household spending and Australia is to release data on producer price inflation.
The euro zone is to produce data on the unemployment rate, while Spain and Italy are to release reports on manufacturing activity.
Switzerland is to publish its SVME purchasing managers’ index, while the U.K. is to release data on construction sector activity.
The U.S. is to round up the week with the closely watched government data on nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate, and a separate report on factory orders.