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U.S. dollar and Euro notes are seen in this November 7, 2016 picture illustration. Picture taken November 7. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Forex – Weekly Outlook: January 2 – 5

Forex – Weekly Outlook: January 2 – 5 – The dollar fell to its lowest levels in more than three months against a basket of the other major currencies on the final market day of 2017 on Friday and posted its largest annual percentage decline since 2003.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell as low as 91.83, the weakest level since September 22.

For the year, the index was down 9.8%, the biggest annual percentage decline since 2003.

The index started 2017 at a 14-year high, boosted by hopes for U.S. President Donald Trump’s pro-growth economic agenda. But barring a sweeping tax overhaul enacted last week, the Trump administration has struggled to pass legislation.

The dollar also lagged despite the Federal Reserve’s rate increases amid increased investor expectations for other central banks to reduce their stimulus.

The euro climbed against the greenback, with EUR/USD rising above the 1.20 level to a high of 1.2025 late Friday. The euro gained 14% against the dollar in 2017 as faster-than-expected euro zone growth fueled expectations that the European Central Bank will tighten monetary policy sooner and faster than anticipated.

Higher interest rates tend to make a currency more attractive to yield-seeking investors.

The ECB is expected to reduce its monthly bond purchases to €30 billion in January from €60 billion, having scaled back purchases from €80 billion last April.

The dollar also weakened against the yen, with USD/JPY at 112.67 late Friday. For the year, the pair was down 3.64%.

In contrast, the stronger euro gained 9.85% against the Japanese currency in 2017.

Sterling also gained ground against the greenback in 2017, with GBP/USD advancing 9.58%.

The dollar ended the year lower against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF shedding 4.28%.

Investors will get back to work when markets reopen on Tuesday after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, with all eyes on the monthly U.S. employment report due Friday.

Market watchers will also focus on Wednesday’s minutes of the Federal Reserve’s December policy meeting for further hints on the future path of monetary policy.

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

Tuesday, January 2

The UK is to release a report on manufacturing activity.

In the U.S, the Institute for Supply Management is to publish its manufacturing index.

Wednesday, January 3

China is to publish its Caixin services index.

The UK is to publish data on construction activity.

The Federal Reserve is to publish the minutes of its December meeting, which outline economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.

Thursday, January 4

The UK is to release a report on service sector activity as well as data on net lending.

The U.S. is to release the ADP nonfarm payrolls report and the weekly report on jobless claims. Later in the day, the ISM is to publish its non-manufacturing index.

Friday, January 5

Australia is to release trade data.

The euro zone is to release preliminary inflation data for December.

The U.S. is to round up the week with the nonfarm payrolls report for December as well as data on trade and factory orders.

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