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The Greenback was in a pretty good mood a day ahead of the FOMC decision while the Loonie drew some support from Canadian wholesale sales and higher crude oil prices.

  • Canadian wholesale sales up 0.1% vs. 0.0% forecast, -0.2% previous
  • New Zealand GDT auction yielded 1.2% drop in dairy prices
  • Euro zone consumer confidence unchanged at 0
  • New Zealand visitor arrivals up by 2.0% from previous 0.1% uptick

Major Events/Reports:

Calm before the FOMC storm?

The dollar chalked up another day of gains against its peers, with analysts attributing this to positive expectations for the FOMC statement. Some believe that a hawkish hike is possible, although the focus could be on the dot plot and updated economic forecasts.

Wall Street was also in a positive mood:

  • Dow 30 index is up 116.36 points to 24,727.27 (+0.47%)
  • S&P 500 index is up 4.02 points to 2,716.94 (+0.15%)
  • Nasdaq is up 20.06 points to 7,364.30 (+0.27%)

Crude oil ticks higher

Black Crack had a one of its better days as geopolitical tensions came into play and eased oversupply concerns. In particular, conflicts in the Middle East and the economic crisis in Venezuela spurred speculations that higher production from the U.S. could be offset.

  • WTI crude oil rose $1.34 to settle at $63.40  per barrel (+2.20%)
  • Brent crude oil is up $1.37 to $67.42 per barrel (+2.07%)

In a meeting with U.S. President Trump, the Saudi crown prince called the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers a “flawed agreement” while the Donald hinted at potential sanctions that could weigh on Iran’s oil industry.

Meanwhile, production in Venezuela continues to slide and has fallen below 2 million barrels per day, less than half its output in 2005.

The American Petroleum Institute reported that stockpiles were down 2.7 million barrels in the week ended March 16 versus the consensus of a 2.6 million increase.

Major Market Mover(s):

USD

The dollar held on to its recent gains and went for a few more during the New York session, riding on hawkish expectations for the Fed announcement and Powell’s first post-FOMC presser.

USD/JPY is up from 106.29 to a high of 106.51, USD/CHF rose from .9529 to a high of .9570, EUR/USD slid to a low of 1.2239, and GBP/USD retreated to the 1.4000 handle.

CAD

While its other two comdoll buddies ended the day in the red, the Loonie was able to stay afloat thanks to positive Canadian wholesale sales data and a rally in crude oil.

USD/CAD is down to the 1.3050 minor psychological mark, CAD/JPY rallied to 81.57, EUR/CAD is back down to the 1.6000 handle, and GBP/CAD fell to a low of 1.8282.

Watch Out For:

  • Japanese banks closed on a holiday
  • 2:00 am GMT: New Zealand credit card spending y/y (4.6% previous)