The greenback rose a little on the back of news that the US Senate had voted to open the debate on reforming healthcare. The US Vice President, Mike Pence helped to break the deadlock and opened the floor to discussions to amend the current bill. This has helped revive hope that this administration could finally make progress on its fiscal agenda. Meanwhile, traders continue to await the news from the two-day FOMC meeting on interest rate policy. The Federal Reserve is widely expected to keep interest rates unchanged.
Earlier today, the Sterling pound settled fell as much as 0.07%, to settle at $1.3018. However, the sterling did get a little boost ahead of BOE member Haldane’s speech last night. Looking ahead, Britain’s economy is awaiting the UK growth data for the second quarter of 2017, which is expected to grow by 1.7%, down from a previous prediction of two per cent. Today’s data comes just two days after the international monetary fund (IMF) lowered its growth forecast for the United Kingdom. Technically, if the UK’s growth exceeds anticipations, Cable could touch new highs.
The common currency traded laterally against most of its counterparts on the back of mixed data. The German IFO business climate index increased to 116.0 from 115.2 thereby showing improving conditions. German import prices however fell slightly steeply at 1.1% versus the expected 0.7% consequently signaling weaker price pressures. No major reports are due for the common currency today.
The yen lost territory against most of its peers on the back of the strength of the greenback. In addition, as traders are pricing in positive expectations for the FOMC statement, bonds yields have increased and thereby reduced the demand of the low yielding Japanese yen.
Gold prices settled yesterday, after touching a one-month high in the previous session, boosted by the U.S. political uncertainty, as traders awaited the FOMC’s policy decision. Also, markets are anticipating no major policy changes or announcements in today’s FOMC statement; however, it could give some additional nuance on how the Fed is looking at the recent underperformance of inflation.
The yellow metal was nearly unchanged at $1,255.32 per ounce, after hitting $1,258.79, its highest levels since 23rd June. While, U.S. gold futures for August delivery rose as much as 0.2%, to settle at $1,257.00.
Oil prices rose by 3% following OPEC's ministerial conference, hovering slightly below $50. Prices were also supported when de-facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia said it would cut its oil exports more than before.
Brent crude surged by 0.78%, to settle at around $50.59, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 0.98%, to settle at $48.36.
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