Forex Today: Get ready to rock with the Fed
What you need to know on Wednesday, December 15:
The greenback is up against most of its major rivals, rising during US trading hours on the back of higher yields and weaker stocks. The US published November PPI, which jumped to a record of 9.6% YoY, much higher than the previous 8.6%, while the core reading jumped from 6.8% to 7.7%. The news spurred risk aversion ahead of the US Federal Reserve monetary policy decision on Wednesday.
Some positive news from the pandemic front helped high-yielding currencies to advance during the European session. Pfizer-BioNTench reported that two shots of its vaccine provide 70% protection against Omicron hospitalization and 33% protection against infection. So far, only the UK reported one death related to the newly discovered variant. Pfizer also reported that its experimental COVID-19 pill, Paxlovid, appears to be effective against Omicron and the previous variants.
The EUR/USD pair is down to a fresh weekly low of 1.1256, trading nearby heading into the Asian opening. The GBP/USD pair posted modest gains, helped by upbeat UK employment figures. The UK Office for National Statistics reported that the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits declined by 49.8K in November. Adding to this, the ILO Unemployment Rate edged lower to 4.2% during the three months to October.
Commodity-linked currencies extended their weekly declines, with AUD/USD struggling around 0.7100 and USD/CAD up to 1.2850. The dollar posted modest gains against safe-haven CHF and JPY.
The US Federal Reserve will announce its decision on monetary policy. The central bank will also offer fresh updates on inflation and growth forecasts and a dot-plot which may hint at a sooner rate hike. Additionally, Chief Powell is anticipated to announce a faster pace of tapering, although it’s unclear on whether to which extent in the middle of the Omicron outbreak.
Gold fell, now trading around $1,772 a troy ounce, while crude oil prices also shed ground, with WTI trading at around $70.40 a barrel.
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