What you need to know on Wednesday, February 24:
The American dollar maintains its sour tone across the FX board but finished the day unevenly. It appreciated against the CHF, the JPY and the EUR, but fell against GBP, AUD and CAD, which reached fresh yearly highs against the greenback.
Wall Street fell at the opening amid a sell-off led by techs shares but trimmed most of its early losses ahead of the close after US Federal Reserve head Jerome Powell testified on monetary policy before Congress.
Powell said that it would take time for “substantial further progress” towards the central bank goals on employment and inflation while adding that any change to the bond-buying program will be communicated “well in advance.” He also acknowledged better data coming in, but reiterated that the economic recovery slowed in recent months.
Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said that it will take some time tot he country to see a complete economic recovery and return to pre-pandemic levels, explaining that the are not there. He added that he expects to have widespread COVID-19 immunity by the end of the year.
In the UK employment data was mixed, but mostly encouraging. The ILO unemployment rate hit 5.1%, as expected, in the three months to December. Average Earnings Including Bonus in the same quarter were up 4.7%, beating the 4.2% expected. Also, the number of unemployed people decreased by 20K in January, much better than the 35K increase anticipated
Commodities edged lower but settled away from daily lows. Gold trades at $1,805.00 a troy ounce while WTI hovers around $ 62.00 a barrel.
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