The US dollar held onto gains today. This came after minutes released from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting revived expectations for a possible rate hike this year. According to the Fed, the U.S. economy and its labor market remained strong, prompting some expectations of at least one more hike this year.
Investors shifted their focus back to trade issues for fresh directional clues. The U.S.-China trade negotiation deadline could be extended and that may mean Europe and Japan could be faced with trade issues.
Meanwhile in Japan, their manufacturing activity contracted in February for the first time since 2016. Japanese manufacturers are facing issues such as a Chinese economy slowdown and the global trade cycle losing further steam. And in Australia, their unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.0% in January.