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Aussie Dollar Strong on Tariff Exemption; Oil Prices Slide
Published March 12, 2018
The Canadian dollar is relatively steady to start the week, with bigger things happening outside our borders. USD is easing back as markets digest last week’s US job data. The US reported strong gains in non-farm payrolls but disappointing hourly earnings, leading to a dampening of expectations for 4 rate hikes out of the US this year.
The Australian dollar is experiencing strong demand after Trump announced that Australia will be exempt from US tariffs. New Zealand is also seeking the same exemptions.
JPY is showing some weakness as a political land sale scandal from last year involving Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, his wife Akie Abe, and Finance Minister Aso resurfaced. The Japanese Finance Ministry admitted to altering documents relating to a probe into an Osaka land sale in order to remove the PM’s name. The government land was sold for ~14% of its appraised value to a school operator with close ties to Abe’s wife; the school itself is rumoured to be far-right and ultra-nationalist, which does not help matters.
Oil prices are down to start this morning’s session as some of the previous week’s optimism seems to be fading. Crude prices were helped last week on reports of a decline in US drilling rigs and strong US job data. Weekly API oil inventories comes out tomorrow, with the US Energy Information Administration’s oil and gas stockpile data on Wednesday. WTI crude is down 0.50% to $61.73 with Brent crude down 0.38% to $65.24 at the time of writing.
There is nothing of note on the data calendar today.