Search ForexCrunch

Here is what you need to know on Thursday, April 16:

The US dollar has been extending its gains across the board, beating also the safe-haven yen and gold. Stocks suffered on Wednesday amid weak data, disappointing earnings, and speculation about the gradual reopening of the economy. 

President Donald Trump has said that COVID-19 has reached a peak and that he is set to publish guidelines about opening the economy, a decision that lies with governors. Encouraging figures from New York support working towards relaxing restrictions.

The economy continues suffering, with Retail Sales plunging by 8.7%, the worst on record and April may be worse. Industrial output plummeted by 5.4% last month and the Federal Reserve Beige Book – compiled in early April – painted a grim picture of a severe downturn. 

See Beige Book: Information that galvanized the central bank in March

Weekly Unemployment Claims stand out on the calendar with an increase of over five million projected for the week ending April 10 after 6.606 million beforehand. Continuing claims, housing starts, building permits, and the Pilly Fed Manufacturing Index are also of interest. 

See Jobless Claims Preview: Facts that retain the ability to move markets

Europe: Cases in Italy have dropped to the multi-week low, Spain’s curve is flattening, and Germany is detailing steps to return to normal, starting from small businesses next week. Among the large countries, France stands out with a leap of over 1,000 fatalities. 

The UK is set to decide to extend the lockdown, probably by three weeks. While there are encouraging signs, Britain is lagging behind European countries. Brexit negotiations have resumed via video with friendly exchanges. Chief EU Negotiator Michel Barnier recovered from coronavirus. 

Global coronavirus cases have topped two million, doubling within 12 days. Total deaths have surpassed 137,000. 

Oil prices are hovering above the lows after WTI settled below $20 for the first time. The White House is considering a scheme to pay American producers to secure future petrol output for future replenishing of reserves. 

The Bank of Canada left its interest rate unchanged but made tweaks to its small Quantitative Easing program. Governor Stephen Poloz and his colleagues are worried about the economy. 

AUD/USD has failed to recover despite upbeat Australian job figures. The land down under reported a surprising gain in jobs in March, with the Unemployment Rate standing at 5,900, better than expected. 

Cryptocurrencies have been attempting to stabilize after edging lower. Bitcoin is trading around $6,600.