Oil Reaches The Highest Level In 2½ Years


On Thursday, the Greenback declined vs. a basket of major currencies after ending the previous session higher as U.S. factory activity increased more than expected. Additionally, the minutes from the Fed's Dec. 12-13 meeting helped the USD to recover from recent declines. the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting suggested that the central bank would continue to pursue a gradual approach in raising rates, but may pick up the pace if inflation accelerates. Data on Wednesday showed that the U.S. factory activity rose more than expected in December, backed by a surge in new orders growth, in a further sign of strong economic momentum at the end of the last year. On the release front, the markets are awaiting the U.S. Initial Jobless Claims, which is expected to hit 248k from 245k.

  • The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up by 0.16% at 91.74 pips, its weakest level in almost four weeks.


The Single currency rose as much as 0.22%, to settle at $1.2042.


The sterling pound rose by 0.18%, to settle at $1.3541 as the UK service sector accelerated in December, but the underlying trend raised doubts over the continued resilience of the economy.


Against the JPY, the USD rose by  0.05%, to settle at ¥112.57.


Earlier today, Gold prices edged lower as traders took profits as the USD firmed after the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s December meeting showed that officials discussed a faster pace of rate hikes this year. Gold Futures - Feb 18 (GCG8), fell as much as 0.27%, to settle at $1,315.00


Oil prices rose to their highest levels in more than  2-1/2 years, touching levels not seen since before a slump in commodity markets in 2014/15, backed by tensions in Iran and by ongoing OPEC-led output cuts. Crude Oil WTI Futures - Feb 18 (CLG8) rose as much as 0.45% at $61.91 and Brent Oil Futures - Mar 18 (LCOH8) was up by 0.19% at $67.97.

The most important economic events:

  • USD Initial Jobless Claims (DEC 30): (GMT 13:30) – Medium – Forecast (248k) – Previous (245k).
  • USD Continuing Claims (DEC 23): (GMT 13:30) – Medium – Forecast (N/A) – Previous (1943k).
  • JPY Monetary Base (YoY) (DEC): (GMT 23:50) – Medium – Forecast (N/A) – Previous (13.2%).

The prices and news mentioned in this outlook are absolutely no guarantee of future market performance and do not represent the view of ICM Capital Limited. Financial markets can move in either direction causing profits to be made or complete losses to be incurred by the trader. Each trader must decide for themselves what their risk appetite is and ensure that correct risk management procedures are in place before placing any trades.

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