Thursday in Asia, the US dollar showed mixed trading against its major counterparts. While the dollar advanced against the yen and the franc, it pared early Asian session gains against the euro and the pound.
U.S. crude oil prices rose by more than $1 a barrel in Asian deals today on the back of a large draw in U.S. distillates stocks and rising equity markets. U.S. light crude for May delivery climbed $1.01 to $50.39 per barrel at 12:48 a.m. ET. London Brent crude rose 71 cents to $52.30 a barrel.
Members of the policy-setting arm of the U.S. Federal Reserve remain concerned about downside risks to an already weak outlook for economic activity.
The minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting in March released yesterday showed that nearly all of the meeting participants felt that economic conditions had deteriorated relative to their expectations at the time of the January meeting.
FOMC members felt that an apparent sharp fall in foreign economic activity was of particular note, as it was having a negative effect on U.S. exports.
During Asian deals on Thursday, the dollar climbed to 100.08 against the yen and 1.1511 against the Swiss franc. If the dollar advances further, it may test near term resistance around 100.9 against the yen and 1.155 against the franc. The dollar-yen and the dollar-franc pairs were worth 99.79 and 1.1478, respectively at Wednesday's close.
In economic news from Japan, core machine orders unexpectedly climbed 1.4 percent in February compared to the previous month, the Cabinet Office said. That snapped a four-month string of decline, which was the stat's longest losing streak ever. The February figure came in higher than analyst expectations for a 6.9 percent decline after the 3.2 percent fall in the previous month.
The dollar weakened against the pound after hitting a high of 1.4671 at 8:50 pm ET Wednesday. As of now, the pound-dollar pair is worth 1.4733, compared to yesterday's New York session close of 1.4712. The near term support level for the U.S. currency is seen at 1.478.
The dollar soared to 1.3234 against the euro before losing ground at 9:30 pm ET Wednesday. Presently, the euro-dollar pair is trading near yesterday's close of 1.3274 with 1.331 seen as the next likely target level.
Traders are now likely to focus on the busy European session, in which the Swiss March unemployment rate, German March final CPI, ECB monthly report, German and the Italian industrial production for February, UK February trade balance and PPI for March are expected.
Across the Atlantic, the US February trade balance, import and export price index for March and the weekly jobless claims reports have been slated for release in the New York session.
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