Investing.com

Investing.com - The euro rose to a three-week high against the dollar on Friday, as better-than-expected euro zone fourth quarter growth data allayed fears over more monetary tightening by the European Central Bank.



The common currency was boosted after data showed that the euro zone economy expanded 0.3% in the three months to December and expanded 0.5% from the same period a year earlier.



Market expectations had been for quarterly growth of 0.2% and a year-over-year increase of 0.5%.



EUR/USD hit 1.3715, the strongest since January 27 and was last up 0.09% to 1.3691. For the week, the pair gained 0.35%.



Meanwhile, the pound ended the week at more than three-year highs against the dollar after the Bank of England revised up its forecast for growth this year and indicated that it may raise interest rates next year.



GBP/USD ended Friday’s session up 0.55% at 1.6748, the highest since November 2009. For the week, the pair jumped 2.10%.



The dollar was lower against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.33% to 101.84 at Friday’s close. For the week, the pair was down 0.30%.



The drop in the dollar came after data on Friday showed that U.S. industrial production fell 0.3% from a month earlier in January, compared to expectations for a 0.3% gain.



The data fuelled concerns that the economic recovery has lost momentum since the end of last year as inclement winter weather weighed on growth.



The dollar’s losses were held in check by expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue to scale back its stimulus program.



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%.



Elsewhere, the Australian dollar rebounded against the U.S. dollar on Friday after falling sharply in the previous session on the back of a dismal domestic jobs report.



AUD/USD was up 0.61% to 0.9034 at the close of trade, after falling to lows of 0.8926 on Thursday.



In the week ahead, Japan is to release what will be closely watched data on fourth quarter economic growth. China is to produce preliminary data on manufacturing activity, while euro zone data on private sector output, U.K. employment data and a U.S. inflation report 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 17



Japan is to release preliminary data on fourth quarter gross domestic product, the broadest indicator of economic activity and the leading indicator of economic growth.



Australia is to publish data on new vehicle sales.



In the euro zone, the eurogroup of finance ministers is to hold a meeting in Brussels.



Markets in the U.S. are to remain closed for the Presidents Day holiday.



Tuesday, February 18



The Reserve Bank of Australia is to publish the minutes of its latest policy meeting, which contain valuable insights into economic conditions from the bank’s perspective.



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.



The euro zone is to publish data on the current account. Meanwhile, the ZEW Institute is to release its closely watched report on German economic sentiment, a leading indicator of economic health.



The U.K. is to release data on consumer price inflation, which accounts for the majority of overall inflation.



Canada is to produce data on foreign securities purchases.



The U.S. is to release data on manufacturing activity in the Empire State.



Wednesday, February 19



Australia is to publish data on the wage price index, as well as a private sector report on an index of leading economic indicators.



The U.K. is to release official data on the change in the number of people unemployed and the unemployment rate, as well as data on average earnings and public sector borrowing. Meanwhile, the Bank of England is to publish the minutes of its most recent policy setting meeting.



The ZEW Institute is to publish a report on economic expectations in Switzerland, a leading indicator of economic health.



Canada is to release data on wholesale sales.



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



Japan is to publish data on the trade balance, the difference in value between imports and exports.



China is to release the preliminary reading of the HSBC manufacturing index.



The euro zone is to publish closely watched data on manufacturing and service sector activity, while Germany and France are to publish individual reports. Germany is also to publish data on producer price inflation.



The U.K. is to produce private sector data on industrial orders.



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 BoJ is to publish monetary policy meeting minutes.



The U.K. is to produce official data on retail sales, the government measure of consumer spending, which accounts for the majority of overall economic activity, as well as data on public sector net borrowing.



Canada is to publish reports on retail sales and consumer price inflation.



The U.S. is to round up the week with private sector data on existing homes sales.



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