The experienced a 0.33% decrease on Thursday, October 19, 2023, following Federal Reserve Chair Powell’s indication of maintaining interest rates steady at the forthcoming Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting and his cautious stance towards additional policy firming. This decline was mitigated by the 10-year Treasury note yield reaching a 16-year peak and weak stock performance, which spurred demand for dollar liquidity.
Mixed U.S. economic news also influenced the currency market. Declines were observed in September’s existing home sales, leading indicators, and Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey results. However, weekly unemployment claims decreased, suggesting a strengthening labor market.
In response to Powell’s slightly dovish comments, the euro saw a 0.47% rise. Yet, the was negatively affected by a dip in French business confidence.
Meanwhile, the yen recovered from a two-week low against the dollar. This was driven by the Bank of Japan’s quarterly report that upgraded economic assessments for six out of nine areas in Japan and a decade high in the Japanese Government Bond yield.
Precious metals prices showed inconsistency. December gold reached a 2-1/2 month high due to a weak dollar, an increase in the 10-year U.S. breakeven inflation rate, and safe-haven demand spurred by the Israeli-Hamas conflict. Conversely, December silver closed lower.
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