1. Oil Prices Drop On Rising U.S. Production
Oil prices (USOIL) dropped this morning after news of a rise in U.S. production. It should be noted however that oil prices remain well supported as ongoing declines in crude inventories curbed losses. Specifically, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (USOIL) crude futures dropped to as low as $62.93 this morning, down almost 2% from their last settlement.
2. Dollar Drops To 3-Year Lows On Fears Of Government Shutdown
The U.S. dollar plummeted to a three-year low against a basket of currencies this morning, amid fears over a possible U.S. government shutdown. These concerns, combined with a stronger yen, pushed the dollar index to as low as 90.104 on Thursday, while the USD plummeted to as low as 110.76 JPY as of 7:40 GMT today. It should be noted that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to fund government operations through Feb. 16 and avoid agency shutdowns on Thursday, but the bill is still to be approved by the Senate. The prospect of the Senate’s approval was complicated by President Donald Trump’s statements that funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), should not be included.
3. U.S. Indices Plummet
US indices dropped on Thursday to close the session lower amid government shutdown concerns. Specifically the Dow (US30) closed 97 points lower while the S&P 500 (SPX500) finished the day 0.2 percent lower. The US Congress is currently racing against time to pass a spending bill by the end of Friday to avoid a complete government shutdown. It is worth noting that historically, a government shutdown has led to a short-term pullback in the stock market.
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