Here is what you need to know on Wednesday, August 18:
Fear about slowing global growth and rising covid cases is weighing on sentiment and supporting the safe-haven dollar. The Fed's Meeting Minutes are eyed after the RBNZ surprised by leaving rates unchanged. Gold remains below $1,800 and cryptocurrencies have been edging lower.
US COVID-19 cases continue rising, nearing a daily average of 140,000, resulting in pressures on hospitals in some undervaccinated areas.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell refrained from making any significant comments in his speech on Tuesday, saying only that Delta covid variant causes uncertainty. He leaves the focus on Wednesday's FOMC Meeting Minutes.
They are set to reflect differences within the central bank between those wanting an announcement about tapering bond buys in September and those holding back. Comments on inflation – transitory or not – and employment will be of high interest.
On Tuesday, the US reported disappointing Retail Sales figures for July, adding to the gloomy mood and keeping the safe-haven dollar bid. Headlines sales dropped by 1.1% in July.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand surprised markets by leaving its interest rates unchanged at 0.25% instead of raising them. While the RBNZ is set to hike borrowing costs later this year, its response to New Zealand's fresh lockdown has broader implications for markets.
EUR/USD is trading close to 1.17, the August low, as the dollar gains ground. Final eurozone inflation figures are due out later in the day. Europe has seen its covid caseload gradually decrease.
GBP/USD is trading below 1.3750, at the lowest in three weeks amid dollar strength and after the UK Consumer Price Index missed expectations with 2% YoY in July compared with 2.3% projected.
USD/CAD is hovering above 1.26 as oil prices struggle to recover and ahead of both crude inventory data and Canada's inflation statistics.
Gold has been trading around $1,791, stable amid limited moves in US Treasury yields.
Bitcoin is hovering above $45,000 consolidating gains seen earlier this month. Ethereum has retreated from the highs but holds above the $3,000 level.
Information on these pages contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Markets and instruments profiled on this page are for informational purposes only and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy or sell in these assets. You should do your own thorough research before making any investment decisions. FXStreet does not in any way guarantee that this information is free from mistakes, errors, or material misstatements. It also does not guarantee that this information is of a timely nature. Investing in Open Markets involves a great deal of risk, including the loss of all or a portion of your investment, as well as emotional distress. All risks, losses and costs associated with investing, including total loss of principal, are your responsibility. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of FXStreet nor its advertisers. The author will not be held responsible for information that is found at the end of links posted on this page.
If not otherwise explicitly mentioned in the body of the article, at the time of writing, the author has no position in any stock mentioned in this article and no business relationship with any company mentioned. The author has not received compensation for writing this article, other than from FXStreet.
FXStreet and the author do not provide personalized recommendations. The author makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability of this information. FXStreet and the author will not be liable for any errors, omissions or any losses, injuries or damages arising from this information and its display or use. Errors and omissions excepted.
The author and FXStreet are not registered investment advisors and nothing in this article is intended to be investment advice.