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The U.S. dollar continued its ascent from the earlier trading session while the Aussie lagged far behind as risk aversion and profit-taking took hold of financial markets.

  • U.S. CB consumer confidence index fell from 130.0 to 127.7 vs. 131.2 forecast
  • Richmond manufacturing index down from 28 to 15 vs. consensus at 23
  • FOMC member Bostic: Fiscal policy creating more uncertainty for the Fed

Major Events/Reports:

Downbeat U.S. data

Uncle Sam’s reports all came in the red, signaling that the economy may not be as tough as it used to be.

The CB consumer confidence index for March came in at 127.7 versus expectations at 131.2 to reflect weaker optimism. Underlying data revealed that Americans are less confident about current economic conditions, particularly when it comes to businesses and the labor market. To top it off, the February reading was downgraded to 130.0.

The Richmond manufacturing index also disappointed as it fell from 28 to 15 versus expectations of a dip to 23. Components showed that this was mostly due to declines in shipments, new orders, and employment.

Month-end profit-taking

Traders seem to be booking profits off their recent trades early as the end of the week, month, and quarter is drawing near and about to take place on a market holiday.

Wall Street closed in negative territory as tech stocks edged lower:

  • Dow 30 index is down 229.31 points to 23,973.29 (-0.95%)
  • S&P 500 index is down 31.11 points to 2,628.98 (-1.11%)
  • Nasdaq is down 158.46 points to 7,062.29 (-2.20%)

Commodities were all in the red:

  • Gold is down to $1,344.40 per troy ounce (-0.78%)
  • Silver is down to $16.500 per troy ounce (-0.98%)
  • WTI crude oil slid to $64.84 per barrel (-1.10%)
  • Brent crude oil is down to $69.02 per barrel (-0.70%)

Major Market Mover(s):

USD

Dollar demand stayed in play for the most part of the trading day on a combination of risk-off flows and profit-taking.

AUD/USD is down 65 pips to .7682 (-0.84%), GBP/USD slid to 1.4153 (-0.53%), NZD/USD fell to .7262 (-0.48%), USD/CAD is up to 1.2880 (+0.30%), and USD/JPY is up 6 pips to 105.47 (+0.06%)

AUD

Among the comdoll gang, the Aussie came in last place as trade war fears with China weighed on outlook for the Land Down Under’s commodity exports.

AUD/JPY slipped 60 pips to 81.05 (-0.73%), AUD/CHF is down to .7275 (-0.67%), EUR/AUD is up to 1.6141 (+0.50%), and GBP/AUD is up to 1.4822 (+0.33%)

 

Watch Out For:

  • 1:00 am GMT: New Zealand ANZ business confidence index (-19.0 previous)