Dollar Index at 1-Week Highs on U.S. Rate Hike Talk

Investing.com - The dollar was trading at one-week highs on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve indicated the possibility of an additional rise in interest rates this year and announced the winding down of its stimulus program.

As expected, the Fed left interest rates unchanged at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

However, the central bank indicated that one more interest rate hike is likely this year, even though it reduced its outlook for inflation this year from 1.7% to 1.5%, and from 2% to 1.9% in 2018.

The Fed also said it will begin to unwind its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in October. Most assets consist of the Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities the bank acquired under its quantitative easing program.

EUR/USD was up 0.16% at 1.1912, while GBP/USD held steady at 1.3495 after the UK Office for National Statistics reported that public sector net borrowing increased by £5.09 billion last month, compared to expectations for an increase of £6.50 billion.

Elsewhere, the yen was lower, with USD/JPY up 0.11% at 112.35, its highest since July 18, while USD/CHF rose 0.26% to trade at 0.9722.

Earlier Thursday, the Bank of Japan also left its monetary policy unchanged, in line with market expectations. However, a dovish new board member was said to have opposed the decision.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.96% at 0.7954 and with NZD/USD dropping 0.45% to 0.7326.

Earlier Thursday, Statistics New Zealand reported that gross domestic product expanded by 0.8% in the second quarter, in line with expectations. The previous quarter's growth rate was upwardly revised from 0.5% to 0.6%.

Year-on-year, New Zealand's economy grew 2.5% in the last quarter, as expected.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD eased up 0.09% to 1.2336, its highest since September 6.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 92.20 by 05:15 a.m. ET (09:15 GMT), the highest since September 14.

Japan stocks higher at close of trade; Nikkei 225 up 0.18%

Investing.com – Japan stocks were higher after the close on Thursday, as gains in the Chemical, Petroleum&Plastic, Mining and Communication sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 added 0.18% to hit a new 52-week high.

The best performers of the session on the Nikkei 225 were Credit Saison Co., Ltd. (T:8253), which rose 5.21% or 107.0 points to trade at 2159.0 at the close. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd. (T:8802) added 4.75% or 89.5 points to end at 1974.5 and J.Front Retailing Co., Ltd. (T:3086) was up 4.10% or 61.0 points to 1547.0 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Nippon Light Metal Holdings Co. (T:5703), which fell 3.59% or 12.0 points to trade at 322.0 at the close. Alps Electric Co., Ltd. (T:6770) declined 3.40% or 103.0 points to end at 2922.0 and Concordia Financial Group Ltd (T:7186) was down 3.06% or 17.1 points to 540.9.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1681 to 1525 and 279 ended unchanged.

The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was down 0.49% to 14.08.

Crude oil for November delivery was down 0.49% or 0.25 to $50.44 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in November fell 0.30% or 0.17 to hit $56.12 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract fell 1.29% or 16.93 to trade at $1299.47 a troy ounce.

USD/JPY was up 0.24% to 112.50, while EUR/JPY rose 0.38% to 133.97.

The US Dollar Index Futures was unchanged 0.00% at 92.22.

Commodities - Gold Prices Tumble to 4-Week Lows as U.S. Dollar Strengthens

Investing.com - Gold prices tumbled to four-week lows on Thursday, as the U.S. dollar bounced higher after the Federal Reserve indicated the possibility of an additional rise in interest rates this year.

Comex gold futures were down $17.61 or about 1.34% at $1,298.70 a troy ounce by 04:00 a.m. ET (08:00 GMT), the lowest since August 28.

As expected, the Fed left interest rates unchanged at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

However, the central bank indicated that one more interest rate hike is likely this year, even though it reduced its outlook for inflation this year from 1.7% to 1.5%, and from 2% to 1.9% in 2018.

The Fed also said it will begin to unwind its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in October. Most assets consist of the Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities the bank acquired under its quantitative easing program.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, wassteadyat 92.25,the highest since September 14.

Gold is sensitive to moves in the dollar. A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency.

However, the precious metal's losses were expected to be capped by potentially higher tensions between the U.S. and North Korea following harsh statements from U.S. President Donald Trump.

In his first speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump said "the United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself and its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures lost 1.78% to $17.03 a troy ounce.

Stocks - Dax Rises as European Markets React Positively to Fed Statement

Investing.com - European markets moved higher on Thursday, even as the Federal Reserve signalled the possibility for an additional rate hike before this year and announced the winding down of its stimulus program.

The EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.46%, France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.40%, while Germany’s DAX 30 was up 0.18% by 03:45 a.m. ET (07:45 GMT).

As expected, the Fed left interest rates unchanged at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

However, the central bank indicated that one more interest rate hike is likely this year, even though it reduced its outlook for inflation from 1.7% this year to 1.5%, and from 2% to 1.9% in 2018.

The Fed also said it will begin to roll off its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in October. Most assets consist of the Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities it acquired under the bank's quantitative easing program.

Financial stocks were sharply higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP) and Societe Generale (PA:SOGN) rallied 1.74% and 1.86%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank (DE:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) surged 3.17% and 4.43%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) and Unicredit (MI:CRDI) climbed 0.80% and 1.66% respectively, while Spanish banks BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) jumped 1.30% and 1.28%.

Elsewhere, E.ON SE (DE:EONGn) saw shares tumble 1.87% following news Finnish power company Fortum is in talks to buy the German utility’s remaining stake in Uniper for €3.8 billion.

Uniper is the power stations and trading business E.ON spun off last year.

Vonovia SE (DE:VNAn) added to losses, as shares declined 1.14% after analysts at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) reaffirmed their “neutral” rating on the stock.

In London, FTSE 100 dipped 0.03%, weighed by Capita PLC (LON:CPI), whose shares dove 9.32% after the outsourcer said on Thursday that its first-half underlying revenue dropped by 3%.

Mining stocks were also broadly lower on the commodity-heavy index. Shares in Glencore (LON:GLEN) lost 1.75% and Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) plummeted 2.97%, while Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) and Fresnillo (LON:FRES) plunged 2.81% and 3.81% respectively.

On the upside, CRH (LON:CRH) shares climbed 3.01% after the building material group announced plans to buy U.S. cement maker Ash Grove Cement in a $3.5 billion deal to grow its North America business.

In the financial sector, stocks were also on the upside. Lloyds Banking (LON:LLOY) and HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) advanced 0.62% and 0.69% respectively, while the Royal Bank of Scotland (LON:RBS) jumped 1.52% and Barclays (LON:BARC) surged 2.02%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady to lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.07% dip, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.11% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.19% fall.

Dollar Climbs Against Other Majors on Fed Statement

Investing.com - The dollar climbed against other major currencies on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve signaled the possibility for an additional rate hike before the end of the year and began winding down its stimulus program.

As expected, the Fed left interest rates unchanged at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

However, the central bank indicated that one more interest rate hike is likely this year, even though it reduced its outlook for inflation from 1.7% this year to 1.5%, and from 2% to 1.9% in 2018.

The Fed also said it will begin to roll off its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in October. Most assets consist of the Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities it acquired under the bank's quantitative easing program.

EUR/USD slipped 0.13% to a one-week low of 1.1877, while GBP/USD held steady at 1.3487.

The yen was lower, with USD/JPY up 0.23% at 112.50, its highest since July 18.

Earlier Thursday, the Bank of Japan also left its monetary policy unchanged, in line with market expectations. However, a dovish new board member opposed the decision in his first meeting.

Elsewhere, NZD/USD declined 0.49% to trade at 0.7323, off the previous session's six-week high of 0.7390.

Statistics New Zealand earlier reported that gross domestic product expanded by 0.8% in the second quarter, in line with expectations. The previous quarter's growth rate was upwardly revised from 0.5% to 0.6%.

Year-on-year, New Zealand's economy grew 2.5% in the last quarter, as expected.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, wasup 0.15% at 92.36 by 01:35 a.m. ET (05:35 GMT),the highest since September 14.

Dollar Gains Inb Asia On Fed, BoJ Steady As Expected

Investing.com - The dollar gained in Asia on Thursday in Asia as the Fed took the expected move of paring back its balance sheet and kept its outlook for rate hikes.

USD/JPY changed hands at 112.41, up 0.16%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.8001, down 0.37%. NZD/USD fell 0.41% to 0.7327.

The Bank of Japan held policy steady as expected after the consluion of it two-day meeting on Thursday, with an asset buying program focused on the yield curve at Y80 trillion annually.

The board voted 8 to 1 to keep the yield curve policy in place and the bank raised its estimates of public investment wile the vote in asset buying was unanimous.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.12% to 92.33.

Earlier, New Zealand reported second quarter GDP bang-on with expectations, up 0.8% on month and a 2.5% annual rise.

The Federal Reserve said it would start to unwind $4.5 trillion in financial crisis-era support starting in October and stuck to its forecast to raise interest rates again this year, saying hurricane damage won’t derail an otherwise healthy expansion.

“Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have devastated many communities, inflicting severe hardship,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in its statement on Wednesday following a two-day meeting in Washington.

“Storm-related disruptions and rebuilding will affect economic activity in the near term, but past experience suggests that the storms are unlikely to materially alter the course of the national economy over the medium term.”

As expected, policy makers left the benchmark interest rate unchanged in a range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent.

“We continue to expect that the ongoing strength of the economy will warrant gradual increases in that rate to sustain a healthy labor market and stabilize inflation around our 2 percent longer-run objective,” Chair Janet Yellen said during a press conference.

Earlier, the dollar came under pressure after sales of previously owned homes in the US unexpectedly fell in August, as tight supply continued to weigh on housing activity.

Existing home sales declined 1.7% in August from the previous month to an annualised pace of 5.35m homes, the National Association of Realtors, said on Wednesday. Economists were expecting a 0.3% rise to 5.46m homes.

Bank of Japan Holds Policy Steady As Expected, Economy Expanding Moderately

Investing.com - The Bank of Japan held policy steady as expected after the conlusion of it two-day meeting on Thursday, with an asset buying program focused on the yield curve at ¥80 trillion annually.

The board voted 8 to 1 to keep the yield curve policy in place and the bank raised its estimates of public investment wile the vote in asset buying was unanimous.

Commodities - Crude Oil Prices Mixed As Market Looks To U.S. Rig Count

Investing.com - Crude oil prices were narrowly mixed in Asia with weekly rig count figures in the U.S. later in the day likely providing short-term direction on supply.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for November delivery rose 0.02% to $50.70 a barrel, while on London\'s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent eased 0.07% to $56.15 a barrel.

Overnight, oil prices settled higher on Wednesday, as bearish data showing U.S. supplies of crude oil rose more than expected was overshadowed by growing expectations that Opec will decide to extend its agreement to cut oil output.

A report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showing crude stockpiles rose more than expected last week briefly pared earlier gains amid growing investor optimism on a possible extension to the Opec-led agreement to cut oil output.

Inventories of U.S. crude rose by roughly 4.6m barrels in the week ended Sept. 15, confounding expectations of a rise of about only 3.4m barrels. It was the third weekly build in crude stockpiles.

Gasoline inventories, one of the products that crude is refined into, fell by roughly 2.13m barrels, missing expectations of a draw of 2.14m barrels while distillate stockpiles fell by 5.7m barrels, topping expectations of a decline of 1.6m barrels.

The third-weekly build in US crude stockpiles comes after heavy flooding due to storm Harvey knocked out nearly quarter of the U.S. refining capacity in August, pressuring demand for crude oil, the primary input at refineries.

The bullish start to the week for crude prices follows comments from Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi, in which he said that Iraq and other OPEC members are considering options to its production-cut agreement, including an extension beyond March and a deeper output cut.

In May, Opec and non-Opec members agreed to extend production cuts for a period of nine months until March, but stuck to production cuts of 1.8 million bpd agreed in November last year.

Dollar Gains In Asia After Fed Details Policy Views

Investing.com - The dollar gained against the yen on Thursday in Asia after the Fed took a consistent stand on paring back its balance sheet and its outlook for rate hikes.

USD/JPY changed hands at 112.30, up 0.06%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.8034, up 0.04%.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted up 0.65% to 92.22.

New Zealand reports second quarter GDP with a 0.8% gain seen on month and a 2.5% annual rise. The Bank of Japan will detail its latest monetary policy views.

The Bank of Japan is expected to reassure markets on Thursday that it will lag well behind its U.S. counterpart in scaling back its massive stimulus, as an improving economy has yet to boost inflation anywhere near its elusive 2 percent target.

The Federal Reserve said it would start to unwind $4.5 trillion in financial crisis-era support starting in October and stuck to its forecast to raise interest rates again this year, saying hurricane damage won’t derail an otherwise healthy expansion.

“Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have devastated many communities, inflicting severe hardship,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in its statement on Wednesday following a two-day meeting in Washington.

“Storm-related disruptions and rebuilding will affect economic activity in the near term, but past experience suggests that the storms are unlikely to materially alter the course of the national economy over the medium term.”

As expected, policy makers left the benchmark interest rate unchanged in a range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent.

“We continue to expect that the ongoing strength of the economy will warrant gradual increases in that rate to sustain a healthy labor market and stabilize inflation around our 2 percent longer-run objective,” Chair Janet Yellen said during a press conference.

Earlier, the dollar came under pressure after sales of previously owned homes in the US unexpectedly fell in August, as tight supply continued to weigh on housing activity.

Existing home sales declined 1.7% in August from the previous month to an annualised pace of 5.35m homes, the National Association of Realtors, said on Wednesday. Economists were expecting a 0.3% rise to 5.46m homes.

Fed To Start Unwinding Balance Sheet Next Month, Keeps Rate Views

Investing.com - The Federal Reserve said it would start to unwind $4.5 trillion in financial crisis-era support starting in October and stuck to its forecast to raise interest rates again this year, saying hurricane damage won’t derail an otherwise healthy expansion.

“Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have devastated many communities, inflicting severe hardship,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in its statement on Wednesday following a two-day meeting in Washington.

“Storm-related disruptions and rebuilding will affect economic activity in the near term, but past experience suggests that the storms are unlikely to materially alter the course of the national economy over the medium term.”

As expected, policymakers left the benchmark interest rate unchanged in a range of 1% to 1.25%.

“We continue to expect that the ongoing strength of the economy will warrant gradual increases in that rate to sustain a healthy labor market and stabilize inflation around our 2 percent longer-run objective,” Chair Janet Yellen said at a press conference.

The Day Ahead: Top 3 Things to Watch

Investing.com – Here’s a preview of the top 3 things that could rock markets tomorrow

US manufacturing and jobs data on tap

Market participants look ahead to the release of a pair of economic reports on manufacturing and jobs due Thursday, for signs of improvement in the U.S. economy following the Federal Reserve’s forecast for a year-end rate hike.

Philly Fed manufacturing index for August is expected show a dip in manufacturing activity as economists expect a negative impact in national manufacturing following disruptions due to Hurricane Harvey.

On the jobs data front, economists forecast the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the week ended Sept. 15, to rise by 16,000 to 300,000.

Ahead of the manufacturing and jobs data, the dollar traded sharply higher against its rivals.

The yen is back in the spotlight

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) is widely expected to keep interest rates unchanged on Thursday.

The BoJ is on a different monetary policy trajectory from its global counterparts like the Federal Reserve and Bank of Canada, the latter of which has hiked rates twice this year.

Market participants, however, will carefully parse comments from the BoJ for any subtle deviation from the central bank’s somewhat dovish stance.

USD/JPY rose 0.58% to Y112.16 on Wednesday.

Gold prices to drop below $1,300?

Gold prices is expected to come under pressure on Thursday following the Federal Open Market Committee policy statement on Wednesday, in which it signalled that Fed members mostly stuck with their June rate-hike outlook to raise rates once more this year.

The unchanged rate-hike outlook was somewhat unexpected as investor expectations of a December rate hike in the run up to the Fed’s statement were slim, as the trend of slow inflation has yet to improve.

Gold fell to $1,304.15, down 0.51%.

Brazil stocks higher at close of trade; Bovespa up 0.04%

Investing.com – Brazil stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Electric Power, Public Utilities and Consumption sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Sao Paulo, the Bovespa gained 0.04%.

The best performers of the session on the Bovespa were Braskem SA (SA:BRKM5), which rose 6.70% or 2.82 points to trade at 44.94 at the close. Meanwhile, Petroleo Brasileiro SA PN (SA:PETR4) added 4.82% or 0.73 points to end at 15.87 and Petroleo Brasileiro SA (SA:PETR3) was up 3.80% or 0.60 points to 16.38 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were WEG SA (SA:WEGE3), which fell 3.37% or 0.79 points to trade at 22.66 at the close. Cia Siderurgica Nacional SA (SA:CSNA3) declined 3.21% or 0.35 points to end at 10.55 and Cielo SA (SA:CIEL3) was down 2.49% or 0.56 points to 21.92.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange by 208 to 182 and 34 ended unchanged.

Shares in Braskem SA (SA:BRKM5) rose to all time highs; up 6.70% or 2.82 to 44.94.

The CBOE Brazil Etf Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Bovespa options, was up 1.02% to 28.68.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.50% or 6.59 to $1304.01 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 1.60% or 0.80 to hit $50.70 a barrel, while the December US coffee C contract rose 1.10% or 1.48 to trade at $136.38 .

USD/BRL was down 0.15% to 3.1300, while EUR/BRL fell 0.98% to 3.7245.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.63% at 92.20.

Canada stocks higher at close of trade; S&P/TSX Composite up 0.63%

Investing.com – Canada stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Energy, Industrials and Consumer Discretionary sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Toronto, the S&P/TSX Composite rose 0.63% to hit a new 3-months high.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/TSX Composite were Air Canada (TO:AC), which rose 10.76% or 2.510 points to trade at 25.840 at the close. Meanwhile, BlackBerry Ltd (TO:BB) added 8.58% or 0.96 points to end at 12.15 and Cenovus Energy Inc (TO:CVE) was up 8.36% or 0.96 points to 12.44 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Semafo Inc . (TO:SMF), which fell 3.80% or 0.13 points to trade at 3.29 at the close. Alacer Gold Corp (TO:ASR) declined 3.70% or 0.080 points to end at 2.080 and Kinross Gold Corporation (TO:K) was down 3.60% or 0.20 points to 5.35.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Toronto Stock Exchange by 644 to 440 and 155 ended unchanged.

Shares in Air Canada (TO:AC) rose to all time highs; up 10.76% or 2.510 to 25.840.

The S&P/TSX 60 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/TSX Composite options, was up 12.17% to 11.34.

Gold Futures for December delivery was down 0.48% or 6.27 to $1304.33 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 1.60% or 0.80 to hit $50.70 a barrel, while the November Brent oil contract rose 1.96% or 1.08 to trade at $56.22 a barrel.

CAD/USD was down 0.37% to 0.8110, while CAD/EUR rose 0.49% to 0.6815.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.62% at 92.19.

Dow Notches Record Close as December Rate-hike Hopes Spike to Boost Financials

Investing.com – Wall Street notched a seventh-straight record closed as bank stocks surged in the wake of a somewhat hawkish Federal Reserve statement that stoked December rate-hike expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed higher at 22412.59. The S&P 500 closed 0.06% higher while the Nasdaq Composite closed at down 0.08%.

The policymaking Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) agreed to keep its benchmark rate target at 1%-1.25%, forecasting at least one more hike this year.

The "dot plot," part of the FOMC's Summary of Economic Projections, indicated that the central bank saw rates rising to between 1.25% and 1.5% by the end of the 2017, pointing one further rate hike this year.

The unchanged rate-hike outlook was somewhat unexpected as investor expectations of a December rate hike in the run up to the Fed’s statement were slim amid expectations the sluggish pace of inflation would force the Fed to abandon its plan to hike rates at least once more this year.

Shares of banks rose sharply offsetting a slump in technology weighed by Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) after the tech gain’s smartwatch – Apple Watch 3 – drew a muted a reaction from consumers owing to a connectivity glitch.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) ended the session more than 1% higher.

Higher interest rates are seen as boon for banks, boosting net interest margin – the difference between the interest income generated by banks and the amount of interest paid out to their lenders.

On the economic data front, investors had to contend with sluggish U.S. housing sector activity in August pointing to possible weakness in third quarter economic growth.

Existing home sales declined 1.7% in August from the previous month to an annualised pace of 5.35m homes, the National Association of Realtors, said on Wednesday. Economists were expecting a 0.3% rise to 5.46m homes.

'Bulls and Bears' on Wall Street

The top Dow gainers for the session: McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) up 1.6%, Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) up 1.5% and Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) up 1.2%

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) down 1.7%, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) down 1.5% and 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) down 1.4%, were among the worst Dow performers of the session.

Cryptos – Bitcoin Recovery Back on Track; Bitcoin Cash Slumps 5%

Investing.com – Bitcoin bounced back from losses sustained in the previous session, rising above $4,000 on Wednesday as it seeks to resume its recovery in the wake of China’s ban on local cryptocurrency exchanges.

On the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, bitcoin rose to $3977, up $84.8, or 2.18%. Bitcoin is more than 25% below its recent peak of $4,969 with a market cap of about $67 billion.

Nearly a week since Bitcoin suffered one its worst crashes in its nine-year history after Chinese authorities ordered all Bitcoin exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai to submit plans for winding down their operations by 20 September, the popular cryptocurrency is well on its way to paring losses.

The recovery in Bitcoin comes as investors downplayed the fallout of the China ‘ban’ on global bitcoin trading activity. The Chinese bitcoin exchange market only accounted for approximately 10-13% percent of global bitcoin trading activity so far this year.

Bitcoin Cash, however, bucked the broader trend higher in cryptocurrencies, falling 6.38% to $497.10.

Ethereum rose 2.60% to $289.99 while DASH/USD added 5.54% to $343.

Nigeria stocks higher at close of trade; NSE 30 up 0.67%

Investing.com – Nigeria stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Food, Beverages&Tobacco and Banking sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Lagos, the NSE 30 added 0.67%.

The best performers of the session on the NSE 30 were Skye Bank (LAGOS:SKYEBAN), which rose 3.92% or 0.020 points to trade at 0.530 at the close. Meanwhile, Total Nig (LAGOS:TOTAL) added 3.54% or 7.90 points to end at 231.00 and Guiness Nig (LAGOS:GUINNES) was up 1.67% or 1.62 points to 98.42 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Union Bank LG (LAGOS:UBN), which fell 4.67% or 0.28 points to trade at 5.70 at the close. Diamond Bank (LAGOS:DIAMONB) declined 2.65% or 0.030 points to end at 1.100 and Stanbicibtc Hl (LAGOS:IBTC) was down 1.25% or 0.50 points to 39.50.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Lagos by 40 to 33 and 24 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for November delivery was up 1.88% or 0.94 to $50.84 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in November rose 1.87% or 1.03 to hit $56.17 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract rose 0.43% or 5.65 to trade at $1316.25 a troy ounce.

EUR/NGN was down 0.28% to 429.200, while USD/NGN fell 0.42% to 356.000.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.14% at 91.49.

Dollar Trickles Lower as Fed Outcome Looms

Investing.com – The dollar fell against a basket of major currencies as economic data showed weakness in the U.S. housing sector ahead of a widely expected unchanged interest rate decision from Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell by 0.13% to 91.50.

The dollar come under pressure after sales of previously owned homes in the US unexpectedly fell in August, as tight supply continued to weigh on housing activity.

Existing home sales declined 1.7% in August from the previous month to an annualised pace of 5.35m homes, the National Association of Realtors, said on Wednesday. Economists were expecting a 0.3% rise to 5.46m homes.

The data comes just hours ahead of the conclusion of Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) two-day meeting which got underway on Tuesday amid expectations the policymaking FOMC will leave interest rates unchanged and announce plans to begin unwinding its $4.5tn bond portfolio.

As well as plans for balance sheet unwinding, the Fed’s Summary of Economic Projections and dot-plot are expected garner much of the attention, as investors are keen to assess whether the slowing pace of inflation has altered the central bank’s longer-term view on interest rates.

“The dollar would likely rally if the Fed were to reiterate the median expectation of another rate hike this year and three in 2018,” said Guy Stear, head of emerging markets strategy at Société Générale (PA:SOGN), in an note.

At the FOMC June meeting, the "dot plot," part of the FOMC's Summary of Economic Projections, indicated that the central bank saw rates rising to between 1.25% and 1.5% by the end of the 2017.

The dot plot shows where each participant in the meeting thinks the Fed funds rate should be at the end of the year, for the next few years, and in the longer run.

Sterling was one of the main beneficiaries of the slump in dollar rising to $1.3584, up 0.61%, against the greenback, following stronger-than-expected retail sales growth in August.

Safe-haven demand, meanwhile, remained subdued capping gains in the yen and Swiss franc in the wake of President Donald Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea if America was forced to defend itself or its allies.

USD/JPY fell 0.14% to Y111.44 while USD/CHF fell 0.15% to 0.9614.

EUR/USD tacked on 0.09% to $1.2005 while EUR/GBP fell 0.55% to £0.8834.

Russia stocks higher at close of trade; MICEX up 0.42%

Investing.com – Russia stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Mining, Power and Oil&Gas sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Moscow, the MICEX added 0.42%.

The best performers of the session on the MICEX were United Company Rusal Plc (MCX:RUAL), which rose 6.38% or 2.700 points to trade at 45.000 at the close. Meanwhile, MMK (MCX:MAGN) added 2.53% or 1.050 points to end at 42.550 and Tatneft-3 (MCX:TATN) was up 2.28% or 8.90 points to 399.95 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Yevroplan PAO (MCX:EPLN), which fell 7.92% or 59.0 points to trade at 686.0 at the close. Detskiy Mir PAO (MCX:DSKY) declined 1.76% or 1.80 points to end at 100.60 and Lukoil (MCX:LKOH) was down 1.32% or 40.0 points to 2985.0.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Moscow Stock Exchange by 115 to 100 and 18 ended unchanged.

Shares in United Company Rusal Plc (MCX:RUAL) rose to all time highs; rising 6.38% or 2.700 to 45.000.

The Russian VIX, which measures the implied volatility of MICEX options, was up 1.36% to 18.690.

Gold Futures for December delivery was up 0.44% or 5.74 to $1316.34 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 2.14% or 1.07 to hit $50.97 a barrel, while the November Brent oil contract rose 2.19% or 1.21 to trade at $56.35 a barrel.

USD/RUB was down 0.53% to 57.8207, while EUR/RUB fell 0.47% to 69.4053.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.13% at 91.50.

Spain stocks lower at close of trade; IBEX 35 down 0.83%

Investing.com – Spain stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Building&Construction, Financial Services&Real Estate and Consumer Goods sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Madrid, the IBEX 35 lost 0.83%.

The best performers of the session on the IBEX 35 were ArcelorMittal SA (MC:MTS), which rose 1.57% or 0.350 points to trade at 22.690 at the close. Meanwhile, Acerinox (MC:ACX) added 0.83% or 0.100 points to end at 12.140 and Mediaset ESP (MC:TL5) was up 0.74% or 0.070 points to 9.570 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were ACS Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA (MC:ACS), which fell 3.81% or 1.225 points to trade at 30.970 at the close. B. Sabadell (MC:SABE) declined 3.78% or 0.068 points to end at 1.732 and Caixabank SA (MC:CABK) was down 1.91% or 0.081 points to 4.150.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Madrid Stock Exchange by 126 to 49 and 14 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for December delivery was up 0.44% or 5.72 to $1316.32 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 2.10% or 1.05 to hit $50.95 a barrel, while the November Brent oil contract rose 2.18% or 1.20 to trade at $56.34 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.07% to 1.2003, while EUR/GBP fell 0.42% to 0.8846.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.13% at 91.50.

France stocks higher at close of trade; CAC 40 up 0.08%

Investing.com – France stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Oil&Gas, Basic Materials and Healthcare sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Paris, the CAC 40 rose 0.08% to hit a new 1-month high, while the SBF 120 index added 0.01%.

The best performers of the session on the CAC 40 were ArcelorMittal SA (AS:MT), which rose 1.57% or 0.350 points to trade at 22.700 at the close. Meanwhile, Total SA (PA:TOTF) added 1.10% or 0.49 points to end at 45.67 and Lafargeholcim Ltd (PA:LHN) was up 1.02% or 0.52 points to 51.45 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Cap Gemini SA (PA:CAPP), which fell 1.96% or 2.00 points to trade at 100.00 at the close. STMicroelectronics (PA:STM) declined 1.87% or 0.310 points to end at 16.270 and Valeo SA (PA:VLOF) was down 1.53% or 0.94 points to 60.56.

The top performers on the SBF 120 were Ipsen (PA:IPN) which rose 5.56% to 119.60, Soitec SA (PA:SOIT) which was up 4.69% to settle at 53.100 and GTT (PA:GTT) which gained 4.25% to close at 46.35.

The worst performers were Alten (PA:LTEN) which was down 6.80% to 72.82 in late trade, Suez SA (PA:SEVI) which lost 4.73% to settle at 15.505 and Nexans (PA:NEXS) which was down 2.13% to 48.15 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Paris Stock Exchange by 279 to 277 and 117 ended unchanged.

Shares in GTT (PA:GTT) rose to 52-week highs; rising 4.25% or 1.89 to 46.35.

The CAC 40 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of CAC 40 options, was up 2.98% to 11.09.

Gold Futures for December delivery was up 0.42% or 5.52 to $1316.12 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 2.16% or 1.08 to hit $50.98 a barrel, while the November Brent oil contract rose 2.19% or 1.21 to trade at $56.35 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.07% to 1.2002, while EUR/GBP fell 0.41% to 0.8847.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.13% at 91.50.

Finland stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Helsinki 25 up 0.05%

Investing.com – Finland stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Utilities, Oil&Gas and Consumer Goods sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Helsinki, the OMX Helsinki 25 added 0.05%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Helsinki 25 were Fortum Oyj (HE:FORTUM), which rose 4.19% or 0.68 points to trade at 16.90 at the close. Meanwhile, Outokumpu Oyj (HE:OUT1V) added 1.47% or 0.1250 points to end at 8.6000 and Cargotec Oyj (HE:CGCBV) was up 1.16% or 0.60 points to 52.40 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Outotec Oyj (HE:OTE1V), which fell 1.88% or 0.125 points to trade at 6.540 at the close. Nokia Oyj (HE:NOKIA) declined 0.86% or 0.045 points to end at 5.170 and Telia Company AB (HE:TELIA1) was down 0.64% or 0.026 points to 4.032.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Helsinki Stock Exchange by 83 to 55 and 15 ended unchanged.

Shares in Fortum Oyj (HE:FORTUM) rose to 52-week highs; gaining 4.19% or 0.68 to 16.90.

Brent oil for November delivery was up 2.38% or 1.31 to $56.45 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 2.32% or 1.16 to hit $51.06 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract rose 0.43% or 5.66 to trade at $1316.26 a troy ounce.

EUR/USD was up 0.07% to 1.2003, while EUR/GBP fell 0.41% to 0.8847.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.13% at 91.50.

Belgium stocks lower at close of trade; BEL 20 down 0.19%

Investing.com – Belgium stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Consumer Goods, Technology and Consumer Services sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Brussels, the BEL 20 lost 0.19%.

The best performers of the session on the BEL 20 were Galapagos NV (AS:GLPG), which rose 0.91% or 0.770 points to trade at 85.090 at the close. Meanwhile, Engie SA (PA:ENGIE) added 0.73% or 0.10 points to end at 14.44 and Umicore NV (BR:UMI) was up 0.72% or 0.49 points to 68.13 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Anheuser Busch Inbev SA NV (BR:ABI), which fell 1.83% or 1.84 points to trade at 98.61 at the close. Etablissementen Fr Colruyt NV (BR:COLR) declined 1.72% or 0.80 points to end at 45.76 and Solvay SA (BR:SOLB) was down 1.10% or 1.40 points to 125.50.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Brussels Stock Exchange by 60 to 48 and 9 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for December delivery was up 0.47% or 6.21 to $1316.81 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 1.80% or 0.90 to hit $50.80 a barrel, while the November Brent oil contract rose 2.03% or 1.12 to trade at $56.26 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.07% to 1.2003, while EUR/GBP fell 0.41% to 0.8847.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.13% at 91.50.

U.K. stocks lower at close of trade; Investing.com United Kingdom 100 down 0.03%

Investing.com – U.K. stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Beverage, Industrial Engineering and Automobiles&Parts sectors led shares lower.

At the close in London, the Investing.com United Kingdom 100 fell 0.03%.

The best performers of the session on the Investing.com United Kingdom 100 were Babcock International Group PLC (LON:BAB), which rose 5.81% or 46.50 points to trade at 846.50 at the close. Meanwhile, Kingfisher PLC (LON:KGF) added 5.60% or 16.60 points to end at 313.00 and Provident Financial (LON:PFG) was up 2.92% or 21.50 points to 758.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Diageo PLC (LON:DGE), which fell 2.78% or 69.50 points to trade at 2426.50 at the close. International Consolidated Airlines Group S.A. (LON:ICAG) declined 1.65% or 10.00 points to end at 596.50 and Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:HIK) was down 1.30% or 15.00 points to 1135.00.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the London Stock Exchange by 1012 to 936 and 442 ended unchanged.

Gold Futures for December delivery was up 0.45% or 5.91 to $1316.51 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 1.80% or 0.90 to hit $50.80 a barrel, while the November Brent oil contract rose 1.94% or 1.07 to trade at $56.21 a barrel.

GBP/USD was up 0.45% to 1.3562, while EUR/GBP fell 0.37% to 0.8850.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.13% at 91.50.

Germany stocks mixed at close of trade; DAX up 0.06%

Investing.com – Germany stocks were mixed after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Utilities, Basic Resources and Telecoms sectors led shares higher while losses in the Technology, Pharmaceuticals&Healthcare and Food&Beverages sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Frankfurt, the DAX added 0.06% to hit a new 1-month high, while the MDAX index added 0.19%, and the TecDAX index declined 0.33%.

The best performers of the session on the DAX were RWE AG ST O.N. (DE:RWEG), which rose 3.32% or 0.670 points to trade at 20.835 at the close. Meanwhile, E.ON SE NA (DE:EONGn) added 2.77% or 0.255 points to end at 9.462 and Linde AG O.N. (DE:LING) was up 2.49% or 4.05 points to 166.40 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Deutsche Bank AG NA O.N. (DE:DBKGn), which fell 1.67% or 0.230 points to trade at 13.570 at the close. Infineon Technologies AG NA O.N. (DE:IFXGn) declined 1.34% or 0.280 points to end at 20.575 and Fresenius SE&Co KGAA O.N. (DE:FREG) was down 1.33% or 0.930 points to 68.750.

The top performers on the MDAX were Uniper SE (DE:UN01) which rose 5.91% to 22.300, Salzgitter AG (DE:SZGG) which was up 3.77% to settle at 39.320 and Symrise AG Inh. O.N. (DE:SY1G) which gained 1.64% to close at 64.620.

The worst performers were Hochtief AG (DE:HOTG) which was down 7.11% to 136.55 in late trade, Covestro AG (DE:1COV) which lost 1.35% to settle at 70.850 and Metro AG (DE:MEOG) which was down 1.31% to 9.850 at the close.

The top performers on the TecDAX were Slm Solution G (DE:AM3D) which rose 8.36% to 35.45, GFT Technologies AG (DE:GFTG) which was up 0.88% to settle at 16.030 and SMA Solar Technology AG (DE:S92G) which gained 0.79% to close at 32.600.

The worst performers were S&T AG (F:SANT1) which was down 2.93% to 18.299 in late trade, Medigene NA O.N. (DE:MDG1k) which lost 1.79% to settle at 12.620 and Adva Optical Networking SE (DE:ADAG) which was down 1.78% to 5.580 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by 390 to 369 and 26 ended unchanged.

Shares in Uniper SE (DE:UN01) rose to all time highs; rising 5.91% or 1.245 to 22.300.

The DAX volatility index, which measures the implied volatility of DAX options, was up 2.42% to 12.04.

Gold Futures for December delivery was up 0.44% or 5.80 to $1316.40 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 1.74% or 0.87 to hit $50.77 a barrel, while the November Brent oil contract rose 1.90% or 1.05 to trade at $56.19 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.06% to 1.2001, while EUR/GBP fell 0.37% to 0.8850.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.11% at 91.52.

Norway stocks higher at close of trade; Oslo OBX up 0.19%

Investing.com – Norway stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Capital Goods, Healthcare Equipment&Services and Transport sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Oslo, the Oslo OBX added 0.19% to hit a new all time high.

The best performers of the session on the Oslo OBX were Petroleum Geo - Services ASA (OL:PGS), which rose 4.16% or 0.68 points to trade at 17.03 at the close. Meanwhile, Golden Ocean Group Ltd (OL:GOGLT) added 3.80% or 2.60 points to end at 71.10 and Norsk Hydro ASA (OL:NHY) was up 0.86% or 0.50 points to 58.50 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were REC Silicon ASA (OL:REC), which fell 3.62% or 0.04 points to trade at 1.06 at the close. BW LPG Ltd (OL:BWLPG) declined 3.15% or 1.09 points to end at 33.51 and Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (OL:NWC) was down 2.63% or 6.0 points to 222.5.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Oslo Stock Exchange by 97 to 78 and 28 ended unchanged.

Shares in Norsk Hydro ASA (OL:NHY) rose to 5-year highs; gaining 0.86% or 0.50 to 58.50.

Crude oil for November delivery was up 1.74% or 0.87 to $50.77 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in November rose 1.90% or 1.05 to hit $56.19 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract rose 0.41% or 5.31 to trade at $1315.91 a troy ounce.

EUR/NOK was up 0.16% to 9.3684, while USD/NOK rose 0.11% to 7.8064.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.11% at 91.52.

Sweden stocks higher at close of trade; OMX Stockholm 30 up 0.06%

Investing.com – Sweden stocks were higher after the close on Wednesday, as gains in the Consumer Services, Basic Materials and Consumer Goods sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Stockholm, the OMX Stockholm 30 added 0.06%.

The best performers of the session on the OMX Stockholm 30 were Fingerprint Cards AB ser. B (ST:FINGb), which rose 3.56% or 0.81 points to trade at 23.55 at the close. Meanwhile, H&M Hennes&Mauritz AB B (ST:HMb) added 2.53% or 5.4 points to end at 219.0 and Boliden AB (ST:BOL) was up 1.46% or 4.00 points to 277.70 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson Class B (ST:ERICb), which fell 2.74% or 1.25 points to trade at 44.41 at the close. Tele2 AB (ST:TEL2b) declined 0.85% or 0.80 points to end at 93.50 and Sandvik AB (ST:SAND) was down 0.65% or 0.90 points to 137.10.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Stockholm Stock Exchange by 359 to 352 and 90 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for November delivery was up 1.74% or 0.87 to $50.77 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in November rose 1.87% or 1.03 to hit $56.17 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract rose 0.39% or 5.13 to trade at $1315.73 a troy ounce.

EUR/SEK was down 0.03% to 9.5357, while USD/SEK fell 0.06% to 7.9474.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.10% at 91.53.

Greece stocks lower at close of trade; Athens General Composite down 1.13%

Investing.com – Greece stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Basic Resources, Oil&Gas and Technology sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Athens, the Athens General Composite fell 1.13% to hit a new 3-months low.

The best performers of the session on the Athens General Composite were National Bank of Greece (AT:NBGr), which rose 7.02% or 0.020 points to trade at 0.305 at the close. Meanwhile, Centric Hold (AT:DESr) added 6.43% or 0.009 points to end at 0.149 and Alpha Bank SA (AT:ACBr) was up 2.81% or 0.050 points to 1.830 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Piraeus Bank SA (AT:BOPr), which fell 21.74% or 0.750 points to trade at 2.700 at the close. Marfin Invest (AT:MRFr) declined 7.96% or 0.009 points to end at 0.104 and Public Power (AT:DEHr) was down 4.37% or 0.09 points to 1.97.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Athens Stock Exchange by 70 to 36 and 12 ended unchanged.

Shares in Marfin Invest (AT:MRFr) fell to 52-week lows; losing 7.96% or 0.009 to 0.104. Shares in Public Power (AT:DEHr) fell to 5-year lows; down 4.37% or 0.09 to 1.97.

Gold Futures for December delivery was up 0.44% or 5.71 to $1316.31 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in November rose 1.66% or 0.83 to hit $50.73 a barrel, while the November Brent oil contract rose 1.85% or 1.02 to trade at $56.16 a barrel.

EUR/USD was down 0.04% to 1.1989, while EUR/GBP fell 0.45% to 0.8843.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.05% at 91.57.

U.S. Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Slump to 1-year Low in August

Investing.com – U.S. existing home sales unexpectedly fell to a one-year low in August, dampening optimism over the health of the housing market, according to a report released on Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The industry data showed that home resales unexpectedly decreased by 1.7% in August to a seasonally adjusted 5.35 million units from 5.44 million units in the previous month. That was the lowest reading since the same period in 2016.

The consensus forecast was for a 0.3% increase to 5.44 million units in August.

The data helps to gauge the strength of the U.S. housing market and is considered to be a key indicator of overall economic strength.

The report indicated that strained supply levels continued to subdue overall activity, while gains in the Northeast and Midwest were outpaced by declines in the South and West.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun noted that, despite the slump, there was still a solid level of demand for buying a home.

“Steady employment gains, slowly rising incomes and lower mortgage rates generated sustained buyer interest all summer long, but unfortunately, not more home sales," he said.

“What's ailing the housing market and continues to weigh on overall sales is the inadequate levels of available inventory and the upward pressure it's putting on prices in several parts of the country,” Yun explained.

“Sales have been unable to break out because there are simply not enough homes for sale,” this expert added.

After the report, EUR/USD traded at 1.1996 compared to 1.1998 before the release, GBP/USD exchanged hands at 1.351, compared to 1.3552 before the data, while USD/JPY traded at 111.47 compared to 111.46 earlier.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, traded at 91.54 compared to 91.52 earlier.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock markets traded flat after the open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 2 points, or 0.01%, the S&P 500 was unchanged, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 2 points, or 0.03%.

Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,315.08 a troy ounce, compared to $1,315.87 ahead of the data, while U.S. crude oil changed hands at $50.55, compared to $50.48 earlier.

Saudi Arabia stocks lower at close of trade; Tadawul All Share down 0.43%

Investing.com – Saudi Arabia stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Energy&Utilities, Agriculture&Food and Financial Services sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All Share declined 0.43%.

The best performers of the session on the Tadawul All Share were Saudi Int Petrochemical Co (SE:2310), which rose 2.82% or 0.43 points to trade at 15.68 at the close. Meanwhile, Gulf General Cooperative Insurance (SE:8260) added 2.75% or 0.52 points to end at 19.42 and Mouwasat Medical Services Company (SE:4002) was up 2.38% or 3.81 points to 164.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Alkhaleej Training&Education Co (SE:4290), which fell 2.79% or 0.58 points to trade at 20.18 at the close. Saudi Cement Company (SE:3030) declined 2.63% or 1.15 points to end at 42.60 and Electrical Industries Co (SE:1303) was down 2.34% or 0.50 points to 20.84.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Saudi Arabia Stock Exchange by 99 to 74 and 5 ended unchanged.

Shares in Saudi Cement Company (SE:3030) fell to 5-year lows; down 2.63% or 1.15 to 42.60. Shares in Mouwasat Medical Services Company (SE:4002) rose to all time highs; up 2.38% or 3.81 to 164.00.

Crude oil for November delivery was up 1.10% or 0.55 to $50.45 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in November rose 1.16% or 0.64 to hit $55.78 a barrel, while the December Gold Futures contract rose 0.40% or 5.29 to trade at $1315.89 a troy ounce.

EUR/SAR was up 0.01% to 4.4985, while USD/SAR fell 0.00% to 3.7500.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.09% at 91.54.

Dollar Broadly Lower With All Eyes On Fed

Investing.com - The dollar remained broadly lower on Wednesday, as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's highly-anticipated monetary policy statement due later in the day.

Later Wednesday, the U.S. central bank was widely expected to leave interest rates on hold, but it was also likely to announce plans to trim its $4.2 trillion in bond holdings.

The safe-haven yen and Swiss franc remained stronger, with USD/JPY down 0.25% at 111.32 and with USD/CHF shedding 0.21% to 0.9607.

Traders were also cautious amid potentially higher tensions between the U.S. and North Korea following hawkish statements from U.S. President Donald Trump.

In his first speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump said "the United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself and its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

Elsewhere, EUR/USD added 0.08% to 1.2004, while GBP/USD gained 0.22% to 1.3318, re-approaching Monday's 15-month peak of 1.3620.

The pound was boosted after the UK Office for National Statistics reported on Wednesday that retail sales blew past forecasts in August, increasing 1.0%.

Sterling had come under some pressure after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned on Monday that Brexit will weigh on overseas trade and that leaving the EU was already limiting the potential size of the UK economy.

However, Carney also said that interest rates are likely to rise “over the coming months”, reiterating what was said at the BoE's most recent policy meeting and had already pushed the pound broadly higher.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars pushed higher, with AUD/USD up 0.57% at 0.8056 and with NZD/USD advancing 0.77% to 0.7373.

Earlier Wednesday, Statistics New Zealand said the country's current account surplus swung into a deficit of NZ$620,000 in the second quarter from a surplus of NZ$240,000 in the previous quarter.

Analysts were expecting a current account deficit of NZ$880,000 in the last quarter.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD slumped 0.37% to 1.2247.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.16% at 91.47 by 08:20 a.m. ET (12:20 GMT), the lowest since September 11.

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