Oil prices slide 3%

Demand concerns weigh on oil prices with WTI still hovering above the $80 mark.

By Nadia Elbilassy | @Nadia Elbilassy | 18 April 2024

Market open
  • Dollar weakened despite Fed's stance on interest rates, driven by easing geopolitical tensions.

  • Yen remains near 34-year lows amid worries of Japanese intervention, G7 reaffirms stance on currency stability.

  • Australian unemployment rate rises to 3.8%, Aussie sees slight rise to $0.6442; oil prices steady after previous session's 3% decline.

What’s moving markets?

The dollar fell this morning as traders evaluated the outlook for U.S. interest rates despite remarks from Federal Reserve officials, solidifying expectations of continued monetary tightening for some time. And geopolitical tensions in the Middle East de-escalating which have also been boosting the dollar's status as a safe-haven asset.

The yen was kept close to its 34-year lows and prompting concerns about potential intervention from Japanese authorities. Japan's chief currency diplomat, Masato Kanda, stated that finance leaders of the G7 reiterated their position against excessive currency volatility.

The euro held steady at $1.0676, showing little movement while the Sterling was trading at $1.2465, marking a modest 0.15% gain for the day.

Australia's data

Australia’s Unemployment Rate rose to 3.8% in March, compared with the expectations of 3.9% and the previous figure of 3.7%, while the employment Change came in at -6.6K in March from 117.6K in February, compared with the forecast of 7.2K The Aussie rose to $0.6442 after the news was released.

Oil prices

Oil prices saw little change following a 3% decline in the previous session, with ongoing concerns about demand this year.

Brent crude hovered close to $86 a barrel down from $89.50, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude also fell to $81. Both benchmarks experienced a 3% decline in the prior session due to indications that fuel demand for this year is lower than anticipated, on the back of oil inventories build in the U.S.