USD - United States Dollar
US weekly jobless claims jump another 6.6 million; this represents a 10% loss in the domestic workforce over the last three weeks due to the coronavirus impact. Federal Reserve announced today that it would add $2.3 trillion to its balance sheet to help with business and government loans, in addition to keeping interest rates near zero to help weather the economic impact of COVID-19.
The US dollar edged higher through trade on Wednesday when measured against a basket of significant counterparts. Despite suffering substantial losses against critical risk and commodity-driven currencies, the US dollar index crept upward, buoyed by gains against the Yen and Euro. The Euro fell back below 1.09 as finance ministers failed to agree on terms for an integrated package of support for companies, governments and individuals across the region. A proposed common European bond was rejected by some countries with the Netherlands insisting that a blank check approach to lending was not acceptable, and conditions must apply. Such demands were refuted by Italy, as the Italian government is not prepared to accept such terms for fear of the political consequences at home and the restrictions it would place on their ability to rebound from this crisis in the months and years ahead. Talks are set to resume today.
Crude oil is in focus today with a virtual meeting between OPEC and Non-OPEC members to discuss production cuts to curb the global supply glut as demand globally for oil is down significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. West Texas Intermediate is up 5.00% today 26.35 ahead of any significant news about today's meeting.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is "improving" after two nights in intensive care with coronavirus, Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated in the government briefing yesterday. Mr. Johnson was now sitting up in bed and "engaging positively" with the clinical team at St Thomas' Hospital in London, the chancellor added. Mr. Sunak also said a Cobra meeting today would discuss "the approach" to take in reviewing lockdown measures. Deaths reported overnight were at 938 with 7,097 now reported in the UK. Though the daily rise in fatalities was more significant than the previous highest toll of 786 - on Tuesday - the deputy chief scientific adviser, Prof Dame Angela McLean, said new cases were not "accelerating out of control." This could provide some respite for the pound sterling, with signs it might break 1.24 versus the USD and 1.14 versus the Euro this morning.
1.0840 - 1.0952 ▲GBP/USD:
1.2360 - 1.2481 ▲USD/CAD:
1.3931 - 1.4077 ▼AUD/USD:
0.6195 - 0.6363 ▲NZD/USD:
0.5985 - 0.6096 ▲