Forex Today: Dollar in demand as a turbulent quarter draws to an end, coronavirus, consumers eyed


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Here is what you need to know on Tuesday, March 31:

The US dollar has been extending its gradual recovery, gaining ground against majors while stock futures are leaning lower after US indexes rallied on Monday.

US coronavirus cases continue rising and have topped 160,000. Additional states have announced lockdowns while President Donald Trump extended the guidance for social distancing through April and said that seeing fewer than 100,000 fatalities would be an achievement. Figures from New York, the epicenter of the disease, remain of high interest. 

More Is a US recession inevitable? What does the history of consumer sentiment tell us?

The World Health Organization has said that coronavirus may have peaked in Europe. The number of new cases in Italy and Spain has been stabilizing and provide hope. Spain is under more severe lockdown measures, and Italy is grappling with growing poverty in the south. Eurozone Consumer Price Index figures for February are projected to rise by a slower rate, yet markets are focused on Covid-19 statistics.

Deaths keep rising in the UK, which has changed its counting method. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure to increase the pace of tests. Final Gross Domestic Product figures for the fourth quarter are due out.

Chinese Purchasing Managers’ Indexes have come out above expectations, with the Manufacturing PMI at 52 in March and the Non-Manufacturing at 52.3. Both figures were projected to remain below 50 – reflecting contraction.

The US Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence gauge for March is forecast to collapse amid the health crisis, tumbling from the high level of 130.7 recorded in February.

See US Conference Board Consumer Confidence March Preview: Three years vanish in an instant

End-of-quarter flows are set to rock markets today and make cause jitters, especially around the end of the European session.

Oil prices are attempting a recovery after another sell-off on Monday. WTI is trading around $21, recovering from a dip below $20. The Canadian dollar has been pressured by falling crude prices and now faces a test via monthly GDP statistics for January, expected to rise by 0.1%.

Cryptocurrencies ave been holding onto familiar ranges, with Bitcoin trading around $6,400.

US labor market figures are of high interest in the next few days. see: How will coronavirus impact the Unemployment Rate after causing a surge in Jobless Claims?

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