Dollar slips after oil recovers

Chris Lee

The price of oil fluctuated then rose slightly in the global markets on Wednesday – leading to something of a slowdown for the US dollar.

The price of Brent crude oil went down a little as Wednesday began.

It fell under $16 per barrel at one stage.

In a sign of the volatility in the commodities market, this was its worst performance since before the new millennium began.

It later managed to go back up somewhat, especially after promises from leading oil producing nations that they would restrict supply.

There is also believed to be some intention from these producers that they will slash output.

The greenback’s index, which is an artificial tool used to track how the currency is performing in relation to  others from across the globe, was down by 0.13% at one stage on Wednesday – reaching 100.33.

Just a day earlier, it had been at its highest point in a fortnight at 100.48.

In its pair against the safe haven Japanese yen, the currency appeared to remain stable.

The Canadian dollar, which had previously suffered against its US counterpart over the border, got ahead a little.

The greenback was down by just over two-fifths of a percentage point against the Canadian currency as trading continued across Wednesday.

However, the Norwegian crown – a currency which is also dependent on an oil-exporting economy, like Canada – remained down.

In its pair against the US dollar, for example, the Norwegian crown was close to its worst performance in a month or so.

As well as the ongoing saga over oil prices, the dollar’s performance was also influenced by domestic economic events in the US.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, said that the House was aiming to pass a new coronavirus-related economic assistance package on Thursday.

It is believed that this will assist the American economy to the tune of around $500bn.

In a separate development, President Donald Trump confirmed that businesses in some states are scheduled to reopen Friday, while others plan to reopen on the upcoming Monday.

Trump’s support for this development stood in contrast to suggestions from senior figures in public health that any overly zealous reopening of businesses could lead to a spike in cases of the illness.

The British pound made some gains, and these were once again attributed to the changing oil price situation.

Economic data had a positive impact on the Australian dollar’s performance.

It rose by nearly half a percentage point after a big leap in retail sales.

However, in a sign of the impact of the coronavirus on all areas of the economy, this leap was largely interpreted as a consequence of panic buying.

Overall, the coronavirus pandemic has continued to exert severe pressure on economies and societies across the globe.

According to figures from the World Health Organisation, there have been 2,471,136 cases of the virus around the world.

There have been 169,006 deaths, and 213 “countries, areas or territories with cases” have been identified.

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