Forex Today: Dollar surges on Fed taper speculation, covid concerns, commodity currencies crumble

Here is what you need to know on Thursday, August 19:

The US dollar has been marching higher after the Fed's meeting minutes suggested that tapering is on the agenda. EUR/USD hit the lowest since November 2020 and the Aussie fails to benefit from upbeat jobs figures. Gold is under pressure and oil sinks to the lowest since May. US jobs figures and covid headlines are eyed. 

Taper is coming: The Federal Reserve's meeting minutes from the July gathering suggested that the bank is tilting toward reducing its bond-buying scheme already in 2021. Many in the committee judged that the threshold of "substantial further progress" has been met. 

The dollar initially dropped as tapering this year is not a shocker and also as Fed officials tend to separate ending its purchases and raising rates. However, the greenback gained ground later on.

Dollar demand also increased due to safe-haven flows related to China's techlash and rising global COVID-19 cases. A study showing that the efficacy of vaccines wanes with time is also contributing to the damp mood.

EUR/USD has tumbled below 1.17, the lowest since November. Rising covid cases in Germany are adding to the pressure. GBP/USD is struggling around 1.37, also in response to below-expectations UK inflation figures. 

AUD/USD has dropped below 0.72 despite upbeat Australian employment figures. The Unemployment Rate tumbled to 4.6% in the land down under. USD/CAD has topped 1.27, also a result of sinking petrol prices. WTI Crude Oil is changing hands below $64 at the time of writing, the lowest since May. 

Cryptocurrencies are under pressure, partially due to a warning from Robinhood, which warned that its revenues could decline if it makes less money on digital asset trading, especially of Dogecoin. Bitcoin is trading around $44,000 and Ethereum just under $3,000. 

US jobless claims are set to show a minor decline and the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index for August to remain close to July's 21.9 points. 

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