USD continues to strengthen today as month-over-month Industrial Production increased 1.1% vs. an expected 0.3%, overshadowing disappointing Housing Starts. Ongoing turmoil in the White House related to National Security Advisor McMaster potentially being let go seems to be a non-issue.
Some of the USD strength may also be related to the safe-haven effect, with the Japanese government land scandal continuing to cloud Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s term.
Next week’s US Federal Reserve FOMC meeting is in focus, with markets pricing in a 98.6% chance of a rate increase. Everyone will be listening carefully to the statement following the rate announcement for hints on whether we see 3 hikes or 4 in 2018.
Oil prices are mixed on the day due to ongoing concerns over global output, which is eclipsing favorable future demand forecasts. WTI crude is up 0.15% to $61.28 with Brent crude down 0.11% to $65.05 at the time of writing.