Yesterday, the Dollar rose after US service sector growth hit its fastest in 12 years in September 2017 and private employers added more jobs than forecast despite Hurricane Harvey and Irma. Meanwhile, improving US data along with the prospect of US tax cuts and the likelihood that the Fed will raise interest rates in December have boosted the US currency in recent weeks.
On Thursday as well, after two days posting gains, the EUR/USD pair was trading in a cautious tone around the 1.1760 region ahead of the ECB minutes that was due later in the European afternoon. The ECB signaled at the meeting that while it could state a plan this month for a gradual exit from its easy monetary policy, it was in no hurry to end it. The ECB mentioned the potentially negative aspects of a strong Euro so the markets will look closely at the minutes to gauge what was discussed about the currency.
Meanwhile, the Australian Dollar slipped to $0.7832 early, after data showed the country’s retailers suffered their worst sales decline since early 2013 in August. However, the Aussie moved back towards $0.7865, after the Reserve Bank of Australia cautioned that a higher currency would be a drag on the economy and inflation.
As for Oil prices, they remained steady on prospects that Saudi Arabia and Russia would extend production cuts, although record of US exports and the return of supply from a Libyan oilfield dragged on the market. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that a pledge by the OPEC and other producers to cut Oil output to boost prices could be extended to the end of 2018, instead of expiring in March 2018.