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USD Down Slightly After Upbeat US Data; Oil Prices Up on Lower Inventories

Published February 1, 2018
  • USD is still under pressure despite a somewhat hawkish tone to yesterday’s Federal Reserve announcement. The Fed left rates unchanged, as expected. Markets are now looking ahead to tomorrow’s Non-Farm Payrolls for an indication of the strength of the job market.
  • Yesterday was Janet Yellen’s last meeting as the Chair of the Federal Reserve. Having spent 14 years at the Fed, Yellen was the first woman to lead it in its 105-year history.
  • On Tuesday night, Trump took credit for the strong rate of job creation in the US, rising wages, and lower unemployment, which was curious as one of the few people who could credibly make that claim was preparing to leave her post as the Fed chair. Jerome “Jay” Powell, Yellen’s successor, is likely in for a wild ride.
  • Reuters stated that US construction spending in December increased by an amount that was greater than expected, as investment in private construction projects rose to a record high and federal government outlays rebounded strongly.
  • Crude prices are higher this morning, being buoyed by a report showing a sizable decline in US stocks of gasoline and distillate. WTI crude is up 0.96% to $65.35 with Brent crude up 0.77% to $69.42 at the time of writing. The loonie is benefiting from these stronger oil prices, and is up vs. the greenback so far today.