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Weekly outlook: February 6 – 10

Investing.com – The dollar slid on Friday as the latest U.S. employment report showed that jobs growth beat expectations, but wage growth remained tepid, which will likely prompt the Federal Reserve to adopt a more cautious approach on raising interest rates this year.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.14% at 99.69 late Friday.

For the week the index was down 0.69%, its sixth consecutive weekly decline.

The Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs in January from the prior month, while the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.8% from 4.7% in December, as more Americans joined the workforce.

Economists had forecast nonfarm payrolls rising by 175,000 last month.

But average hourly earnings rose 2.5% in January from a year earlier, slowing from 2.8% in December.

The slowdown in wage growth prompted speculation that the Fed will avoid hiking interest rates too quickly.

In its latest monetary policy statement on Wednesday the Fed stuck to its view that the economy is strengthening, but gave no clear signal on the timing of its next rate hike as officials wait to assess the possible economic impact of the Trump administration’s protectionist policies and recent remarks about currencies.

The greenback has been hard hit by concerns that a preference for a weak dollar could have a prominent role to play in Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda.

The dollar dipped against the yen, with USD/JPY dipping 0.13% to 112.64 late Friday. The pair ended the week down 1.75%, its worst weekly performance since late June.

The dollar was also weaker against the euro, with EUR/USD rising 0.22% to 1.0783, bringing the week’s gains to 0.61%.

Against the pound, the dollar was higher, with GBP/USD down 0.32% at 1.2483.

Sterling came under pressure after data on Friday showing that growth in the dominant UK service sector slowed for the first time in four months in January as rising costs hit consumer spending.

The data was the latest indication that the sharp fall in sterling since the June Brexit vote could act as a drag on growth.

In the coming week, China is to release data on service sector activity and trade, while a report on German factory orders will be in focus in the euro zone.

The U.S. is to release monthly trade figures in what will be a thin week for economic data.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, February 6

Australia is to release data on retail sales.

China is to publish its Caixin services PMI.

In the euro zone, Germany is to report on factory orders.

Tuesday, February 7

The Reserve Bank of Australia is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.

New Zealand is to release a report on inflation expectations.

The UK is to publish a report on house price inflation.

Canada is to release reports on trade, building permits and business activity.

The U.S. is also to release its latest trade figures.

Wednesday, February 8

The European Commission is to release its latest economic forecasts for the European Union.

Thursday, February 9

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is to announce its benchmark interest rate and hold a press conference to discuss the monetary policy decision.

Australia is to release a report on business confidence.

Canada is to report on new house price inflation.

The U.S. is to publish data on initial jobless claims and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is to speak.

Friday, February 10

The RBA is to publish its monetary policy statement.

China is to release trade figures.

The UK is to produce reports on manufacturing production and trade.

Canada is to publish its monthly employment report.

The U.S. is to round up the week with preliminary figures on consumer sentiment.

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