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Dollar Strengthens Amid trade tensions and strong jobs data

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Equities

US stocks closed lower as President Donald Trump announced that the United States is ready to impose more tariffs to cover all the Chinese exports to the United States. Trump threatened to set tariffs on $267 billion of Chinese goods, on top of tariffs on the $200 billion that his administration is preparing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3% to close at 25916, the SPX 500 lost 0.2% to 2871, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite logged its worst week since late March to settle at 7902. Major U.S. indices will remain vulnerable to the trade developments between the United States and its rivals.

USD

The dollar index which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies surged from a one-week low following the strong August jobs data.  On the other hand, Trump’s remarks on the trade spat between China and the United States helped the dollar to regain its safe-haven state. DXY continued higher during today’s Asian session to trade at 95.56. The jobs report revealed that the U.S. economy created 201 thousand jobs and the average hourly earnings rose by 0.4%. However, the unemployment rate was steady at 3.9% versus an expectation of a drop to 3.8%, despite the drop in the participation rate to 62.7% from 62.9%. In general, the robust hourly earnings figures support the Federal Reserve interest rate path.

Metals

Gold prices tumbled as the solid U.S. economic outlook suggests further monetary policy tightening by the Federal Reserve. The gold ounce ended lower for the second consecutive week at $1196.50. On the other hand, silver prices held steady near the $14 level, the lowest since early 2016.

Oil

Oil prices finished higher on Friday to cover partial losses incurred earlier during the week. The looming US sanctions on IRAN and the stalling U.S. production remain price supportive. The U.S. energy services firm Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. oil rig count was steady at 860 to signal a stagnation since May. The West Texas Intermediate crude futures are trading near the session’s high at $68.21, and the Brent futures are hovering near the highs of $77.57.

Major Economic Events

GMT Country Event Expectation Previous
8:30 UK GDP (MoM) 0.2% 0.1%
8:30 UK Industrial Production (MoM) (Jul) 0.2% 0.4%
8:30 UK Manufacturing Production (MoM) (Jul) 0.2% 0.4%

 
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