Forex - USD/CHF weekly outlook: May 14 - 18

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Forexpros - The U.S. dollar rose to a two-month high against the Swiss franc on Friday, as ongoing concerns over political and financial troubles in Greece prompted investors to flock to safe haven assets.

USD/CHF hit 0.9306 on Friday, the pair's highest since March 15; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.9295 by close of trade on Friday, climbing 0.74% over the week.

The pair was likely to find support at 0.9255, last Thursday's low and resistance at 0.9333, the high of March 15.

Market sentiment came under pressure amid growing expectations that a fresh round of elections in Greece is inevitable, after attempts to form a coalition government failed.

On Friday, Alexis Tsipras the head of Greece's largest anti-bailout party Syriza rejected a coalition with Socialists and Conservatives, fuelling concerns over the country's ability to abide by the terms of its EUR130 billion bailout agreement.

Rating agency Fitch warned Friday that it would place the ratings of all euro zone members on review pending possible downgrades, if Greece was to exit the euro zone as a result of its current crisis.

Meanwhile, speculation over the health of Spain's troubled banking system and the government's ability to cut one of the largest deficits in the euro are also weighed on market sentiment.

In the U.S., a report from the University of Michigan showed that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 77.8 in May, a more than four-year high, from a reading of 76.4 the previous month.

Analysts had expected the index to remain unchanged in May.

A separate report showed that producer price inflation in the U.S. fell 0.2% in April, following a flat reading the previous month and disappointing expectations for another flat reading in April.

The data came after the U.S. Department of Labor said on Thursday that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 5 fell to 367,000, defying expectations for an increase of 1,000 to 369,000.

The previous week's figure was revised up to 368,000 from 365,000.

In the week ahead, investors will be watching developments in Greece as well as the first talks between the new French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, amid fears that Hollande's focus on growth rather than austerity measures as a means to tackle the euro zone crisis could spark tensions with Germany.

In addition, the U.S. is to produce government data on retail sales and inflation, while the Federal Reserve is to publish the minutes of this month's policy setting meeting.

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

Monday, May 14

Switzerland is to publish official data on producer price inflation, a leading indicator of consumer inflation. Meanwhile, Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan is to speak; his comments will be closely watched.

Later Monday, the U.S. is to produce a report on mortgage delinquencies, an important signal of the housing market's health.

Tuesday, May 15

The U.S., is to publish official data on retail sales and consumer price inflation, which accounts for a majority of overall inflation. Reports on manufacturing activity in New York, as well as U.S. net long-term securities transactions and business inventories are also due.

Wednesday, May 16

The ZEW Centre for Economic Research is to release a report on Swiss economic expectations, a key indicator of economic health.

Also Wednesday, the U.S. is to produce official data on building permits and housing starts, followed by reports by the Federal Reserve on the capacity utilization rate and industrial production. Government data is also to be released on crude oil inventories ahead of the minutes of the Fed's latest policy meeting.

Thursday, May 17

Markets in Switzerland will remain closed due to national holidays.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is to produce government data on unemployment claims, followed by a report on manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia area.

Friday, May 18

Members of the Group of Eight nations are to begin talks in Camp David, hosted by U.S. President Barak Obama.


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