|Commodity agreements were put in place right after World War II and again following the 1970s commodity price boom. Price and trade restrictions encouraged the emergence of competitor products or the entry of new producers. As a result, all of these agreements, except those covering crude oil, eventually collapsed.|
Oil prices rallied on Thursday after Saudi Arabia and its allies started air strikes in Yemen, boosting demand for safe-haven assets from gold to Japanese yen. Brent crude surged more than $3 to close to $60 a barrel, and the price of U.S. crude saw a similar surge as it topped $51 a barrel. In the currency market, the dollar weakened against traditional safe-haven currencies such as the Swiss franc and the yen. Meanwhile, gold prices climbed 0.6% to pace gains among metals.
U.S. Treasuries advanced for a third day on Tuesday as U.S. inflation in February remained below the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, increasing bet the U.S. central bank won’t rush to hike interest rates. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note fell to as low as 1.894%, while the 30-year yield dropped to a six-week low of 2.49%. U.S. government bond have rallied since the Fed indicated last week it would raise policy rate at a slower pace than what the market anticipated.
Falling more-than-expected, U.S.first-time jobless claims dropped to 289,000 in the week ended March 7th, from the previous week's revised level of 325,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to pull back to 309,000 from the 320,000 originally reported for the previous week.
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The euro depreciated further against the dollar on Wednesday, slumping as much as 1.5% to a 12-year low of $1.056 before stabilizing slightly, as the ECB’s QE program continued to push the region’s bond yields down to new record lows. The single currency was broadly weaker against other major currencies, sinking to a 7-year low versus sterling at 70.145 and an 18-monh low against the yen at 128.20.
The euro fell for a fifth day versus the dollar on Wednesday ahead of the European Central Bank policy meeting tomorrow, which will provide more details on €60 billion a month stimulus plan. The single currency was trading 0.8% lower against the dollar at $1.1086, approaching its 11-year low of $1.1098 last reached on January 26 this year. The euros’ lingering weakness is likely to reflect a growing divergence in growth and monetary policy outlook between Europe and the U.S.
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U.S. stocks retreated on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index easing back from their record closing highs on Monday, while the dollar weakened against a basket of major counterparts. European and Asian stocks were mostly weaker as investors were cautious of a potentially overheating market. The benchmark MSCI World stock index slipped 0.2%. The dollar index (DXY), which tracks the greenback against a group of six major currencies, fell 0.25% from its 11-year peak to 95.214.