Here is what you need to know on Thursday, December 23:
The dollar continued to suffer losses against its major rivals on Wednesday with risk flows staying in control of financial markets. Later in the session, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis will release the November Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index data, the Fed's preferred gauge of inflation, alongside the monthly Personal Income and Personal Spending figures. The weekly Initial Jobless Claims, November New Home Sales and the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index for December will also be featured in the US economic docket ahead of the Christmas holiday.
On Wednesday, the S&P 500 Index rose more than 1% on reports suggesting that the Omicron variant is not as dangerous as feared. The BBC reported that early evidence from a Scottish study showed fewer people were getting hospitalized when compared to previous variants. Moreover, research conducted in South Africa found that Omicron was a milder variant than Delta. Reflecting the positive shift in risk sentiment, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5% and the Nikkei 225 Index gained more than 0.8%. In the early Europen session, US stocks futures are trading flat.
EUR/USD capitalized on broad-based dollar weakness and climbed toward the upper limit of its December trading range around mid-1.1300s late Wednesday before going into a consolidation phase on Thursday.
GBP/USD rose sharply on easing concerns over the Omicron variant causing tighter restrictions and even lockdowns in the UK. The pair is trading in a tight range around 1.3350 and stays within a touching distance of the post-BOE top it set at 1.3375.
USD/JPY stretched higher despite the greenback weakness as the yen struggled to find demand as a safe haven. The 10-year US Treasury bond yield is posting small daily gains around 1.46%, helping the pair stay afloat in the positive territory.
After spending the majority of the day in a tight range near $1,790 on Wednesday, gold regained its traction and seems to have settled above $1,800 for the time being. Rising US T-bond yields seem to be limiting XAU/USD's upside for the time being.
USD/CAD fell sharply and lost nearly 100 pips on Wednesday with rising crude oil prices providing a boost to the commodity-related loonie. The pair is holding above 1.2800 early Wednesday and the barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), which rose more than 2%, is consolidating its gains a little below $73.
Bitcoin continues to trade in a narrow range below $50,000 after failing to break above that level on Wednesday. Ethereum struggled to attract buyers after rising above $4,000 and trades in the positive territory around $3,900 early Thursday.
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