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Loonie Surges on Positive CPI Data; Oil Prices Continue to Rise
Published March 23, 2018
The loonie surged more than half a cent against the greenback this morning after Canadian CPI numbers came out stronger than expected and core retail sales came out in line with forecasts. USD/CAD reached as low as 1.2832 and has since bounced back slightly.
The threat of a global trade war sent stock markets sliding and investors rushing for the safety of government bonds and currencies like the yen today, after Donald Trump officially announced tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods. Another hurtful week for stocks has left global equity markets heading for their first quarterly loss since early 2016 after a spike in volatility, nervousness about rising inflation, and the specter of a trade war spooked investors who had been enjoying a multi-year bull run.
Gold prices spiked to a one-month high in early morning trading today as mounting fears over the prospect of a trade war stoked demand for the precious metal. Investor interest in bullion is regaining momentum as the trade fight stokes concerns that global growth will slow, hurting risk assets including equities and industrial commodities such as steel.
Oil prices continued to increase today, bolstered by news that production cuts from OPEC and Russia could be extended into 2019. Brent crude gained 0.93% to $69.68 a barrel and WTI crude gained 0.82% to $65.00 a barrel by 9:00am EST. Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said yesterday that OPEC members will need to continue coordinating with Russia and other non-OPEC oil-producing countries on supply restraints in 2019 to reduce the global oil oversupply.