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What you need to know on Wednesday, March 24:

 The dollar appreciated sharply against most of its rivals, in a mixture of risk aversion and encouraging comments from US Federal Reserve ´s officials.

Equities fell as Turkey jitters continued to weigh on investors’ mood. European indexes trimmed most of their losses ahead of the close, while Wall Street accelerated its slump in the final hour of trading. US Treasury yields remained under selling pressure and fell to levels previous to the Federal Reserve monetary policy decision.

The EUR/USD pair trades around 1.1850 heading into the Asian opening, undermined by coronavirus-related news. At least two countries, Germany and the Netherlands announced an extension of their current lockdowns to mid-April.

In the UK, employment data weighed on Pound. The country reported that in February, the number of unemployed people increased by 86,600. The ILO Unemployment rate for the three months to January decreased to 5%, better than the expected 5.2%. Average Hourly Earnings in the same period increased by less than anticipated, with wages excluding bonus at 4.2%.

Commodity-linked currencies were the worst performers, although the CAD appreciated mid-US afternoon after the Bank of Canada hinted at tapering QE. ” As overall financial market conditions continue to improve in Canada, use of the Bank of Canada’s programs that were introduced in 2020 in response to the shock from COVID-19 to support the functioning of key Canadian financial markets, has declined significantly.” As a result, the central bank will discontinue its easing programs.

Gold fell despite the dismal mood, settling at $1,726.90 a troy ounce. Crude oil prices were also hit by the poor sentiment, with WTI down to $57.60 a barrel.

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