Mystery euro surge lifts other currencies

30 / 12 / 2016 | Market News
The euro surged during the Asian trading session, climbing more than two U.S. cents.  This mysterious move baffled traders as there seemed to be no reason for it. The euro jumped from around $1.0490 to briefly trade above US$1.0700 in a matter of moments, its highest level in two weeks. Traders said that the euro's short-lived rally also lifted the U.K. pound and the Australian and New Zealand dollars.

The dollar weakened as the WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against 16 others, fell 0.5% to 93.06.  Despite the overnight fall, the dollar is on track to end 2016 with a gain of more than 3%.

U.K. retail sales are set to flatline in 2017 because of uncertainty caused by Britain's June vote to leave the European Union, according to a study released Thursday. The report from the KPMG-Ipsos Retail Think Tank, or RTT, showed that growth in this area is likely to stagnate during the year as consumers stop spending because of a lack of clarity over the U.K.'s future relationship with the EU. With lower one-off spending offsets any rise in spending on essential goods such as food and groceries, overall retail growth is likely to remain around 0.5%, it said.The weak pound and resulting increases in import costs mean retail prices are likely to rise by between 5% and 8% on average during the year.

After data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed smaller-than-expected growth in U.S. crude stockpiles, crude futures made minor gains overnight.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in Februar  traded at $54.02 a barrel, up 25 cents, or 0.5%, in the Globex electronic session. March LCOH7, +0.53% Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose 33 cents, or 0.6%, to $57.18 a barrel.  Oil trading remained lukewarm before the New Year holiday.  Global oil markets will be closed on Monday.

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