The U.S. dollar rose for the fifth consecutive session on Thursday to a one-week peak, after another Federal Reserve official confirmed the central bank's intentions to hike interest rates two times this year, starting with next month, and while markets remain unconvinced, it had a big impact on the Forex and the stock markets.
The greenback index rose another 0.15% today to hover around 96.18, climbing far from a five-month trough hit last week at 94.61, while the euro inched down 0.04% versus its U.S. rival to trade at 1.1176. Sterling gave up another 0.16% to 1.4097, hammered by fears of a Brexit from the European Union next June.
Oil prices took a hit yesterday after the Energy Information Administration released its weekly report in U.S. crude inventories, showing a massive increase of 9.4 million barrels, missing expectations of 2.5M by a wide margin and adding to the previous reading's 1.3M increase, which raised new fears of oversupply in America.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures plunged over four percent yesterday, while dipping another 0.60% today, or 0.24 cents to trade back below $40 at $39.55 a barrel, while Brent crude futures edged down seven cents, or 0.17% to move around $40.40 a barrel, away from recent multi-month highs.
Investors wait for a wide array of data today, with Britain's retail sales for February expected to have fallen 0.7% m/m, after surging 2.3% in January, which would be another bad piece of news for the struggling pound.
From the U.S., unemployment claims for last week are forecast to have risen slightly to 267 thousand, compared to the previous reading's 265 thousand, which wouldn't have a big impact on the greenback unless the result is way off the forecast.