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Dollar hits a 12-year pinnacle, gold and silver tumble to 6-year lows.

News Date: 3/12/2015 01:17:48

The dollar's index, which tracks it against a basket of six major currencies, touched its highest level in twelve and a half years at 100.54, after Fed's chief Janet Yellen said that she's "looking forward" to the rate hike, which will be a testament to the economy's recovery from recession; the index was last trading at 100.18. Dollar rose to a seven-and-a-half-month peak against the euro at 1.0551, before steadying to 1.0594. It jumped to a similar 7-month height against sterling at 1.4896, before receding to 1.4927. Dollar advanced to a two-week high against the yen at 123.65, before trading back at 123.42.


Commodities were knocked off by the dollar surge, with Gold futures tumbling to a new six-year low at $1,045, before recovering a bit to $1,053 an ounce. Silver futures fell to a similar low at $13.83, before stabilizing to $13.96 an ounce.


Euro remained under pressure as all eyes are fixed on the ECB's meeting today, which is expected to unleash new stimulus and fresh cuts for the deposit rate. The euro's index was last down 0.16% to 85.59. Euro gave up 0.10% against the yen to 130.72.


Crude prices fell about 4.0% to near seven-year lows yesterday on the rising dollar and an addition in U.S. oil inventories, before recovering some losses today. Brent futures gained 40 cents, or 0.96% to $43.21 a barrel. U.S. crude futures pulled back 60 cents, or 1.50% to $40.55 a barrel.


 Asian shares gave up ground, taking cues from Wall Street's losses yesterday. Australia's S&P\ASX 200 index fell 0.58%, while Kore'a KOSPI floundered 0.72%. India's Nifty dipped 0.45%. Japan's Nikkei was flat at 19,939. China's CSI300 index bucked the trend, advancing 0.30%, despite a services PMI showing growth in the sector slowing.


From the Eurozone, final services PMI is forecast to have grown to 54.6 for November, from October's 54.1. Retail sales for the zone are forecast to have grown 0.2% m\m in October. Investors are expecting new easing from the ECB today, so Euro is expected to remain pressured.


From Britain, services PMI is expected to have grown slightly to 55.0 in November, from October's 54.9. The manufacturing version of the report showed growth slowing sharply last month, so a pick up in services would ease worries over the economy in fourth quarter, and give sterling a breathing space.


From the U.S., unemployment claims for last week are forecast at 267K, which would indicate a strengthening jobs market. Fed is expected to raise rates this month, so dollar will remain supported.     


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