Dollar Holds Firm, Fed in Focus

Dollar Holds Firm, Fed in Focus


The dollar index which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies bounced-off the 100-day exponential moving average to trade higher at 96.53. Market participants await the Federal Reserve to reiterate the "patient" tone and leave interest rates unchanged. Moreover, the Fed could lower the dot plot to show one rate hike in 2019 versus two rates hikes expected in the December meeting. The USDJPY rose to a high of 111.70, and the EURUSD traded slightly below $1.1350.


The British pound traded lower against other major currencies as investors await fresh Brexit developments. The surge in earnings index and drop in unemployment rate drove the cable towards $1.33, however, the pair pared gains following several Brexit headlines. Theresa May is expected to send a letter to the EU asking to extend the Brexit deadline. On the other hand, market participants await February's inflation figures. The GBPUSD decline to a low of $1.3215, and the GBPJPY dropped to 147.55.


Gold prices drifted lower as the dollar surged ahead of the Federal Reserve interest rate decision. The gold ounce retreated from a high of $1311, to trade at a low of $1302. Also, the silver ounce tumbled to $15.25. Meanwhile, palladium traded at a fresh record high of $1601.


Oil prices retreated from a four-month high amid rising growth concerns. The American Petroleum Institute reported that the weekly crude oil stock fell 2.133 million barrels last week. Market participants await the official numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell from a high of $59.55 to settle at $59.03, and Brent futures retreated from a high of $68.18 to close at $67.66.

Major Economic Events

GMT Country Event Expectation Previous
9:30 UK CPI (MoM) (Feb) 0.4% -0.8%
9:30 UK CPI (YoY) (Feb) 1.8% 1.8%
11:00 UK CBI Industrial Trends Orders (Mar) 5 6
14:30 US Crude Oil Inventories 0.309 -3.862
18:00 US Fed Interest Rate Decision 2.50% 2.50%
18:30 US FOMC Press Conference    
21:45 NZ GDP (QoQ) (Q4) 0.6% 0.3%


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