17 September 2021
World Markets at a glance for Currency, Equity, Commodity, Bonds, Crypto Currency, Financial News & Major Economic Events.
- Dollar holds upper hand after retail sales boost
- Asian shares stabilise but global growth fears nag
- Oil steady as U.S. storm-hit supply returns slowly
The dollar held near three-week highs against a basket of major currencies on Friday after a raft of strong U.S. economic data rekindled expectations for earlier policy tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve. U.S. retail sales unexpectedly increased in August, rising 0.7% from the previous month despite expectations of a 0.8% fall, while business sentiment survey by the Philadelphia Fed also showed a big improvement.
The dollar index stood at 92.880, near Thursday’s three-week high of 92.965. The euro hit a three-week low of $1.17505 overnight and last traded at $1.1765. The common currency also hit a three-week low of 128.61 yen and one-month low of 0.8501 British pound, before recovering some losses. The dollar bounced back to 109.72 yen, having gained 0.34% on Thursday and off Wednesday’s six-week low of 109.11.
Asian shares steadied in early trading on Friday after losses earlier in the week, but China jitters and global growth concerns weighed on investors’ minds, while the dollar sat near a three-week high.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan recovered from early losses to trade flat, but was still down 2.7% on the week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.5% after posting its lowest close in 10 months the day before. Australian shares fell 1.03%, as a fall in iron ore prices hurt miners. However, Chinese blue chips eked out a 0.26% rise and Japan’s Nikkei edged up 0.42% to head back towards a 31-year high hit on Monday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.18%, the S&P 500 lost 0.16%, but the Nasdaq Composite inched up or 0.13%, supported by Amazon.com Inc after the strong retail data read.
Oil prices barely moved on Friday even as more supply came back online in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico following two hurricanes, with benchmark contracts on track to post weekly gains of around 4% as the output recovery is seen lagging demand.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 2 cents to $72.59 a barrel , after settling unchanged on Thursday. Brent crude futures inched up 4 cents to $75.71 a barrel, adding to a 21 cent gain on Thursday.
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