Dollar Sharply Gains as US Data Releases Lift It Higher

The dollar rose higher against other major currencies on Wednesday’s trading session. The US currency’s gains came as a stack of data releases in the United States and news of a highly anticipated agreement to cut oil production lifted investors’ optimism today.

The US Automatic Data Processing’s report for national employment said that non-farm private sector employment rose by 216,000 in November, from 147,000 in October. The data surpassed expectations of an increase by 165,000.

At the same time, a report by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis showed that personal income rose by 0.6% in October to $98.6 billion, compared to an expected 0.4% increase. The report also revealed an increase by 0.3% in personal spending to reach 38.1 $billion, which was less than a predicted 0.5% gain.

A third data release by the US National Association of Realtors today said that pending home sales increased by 0.1% in October, lower than expectations of a rise by 0.2%. This follows a 1.5% increase in September, reflecting smaller housing activity during the last month.

Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries held its most recent meeting in Vienna, during which the oil cartel reached an agreement between its member countries to cut crude production for the first time since 2008.

The agreement included a big reduction to crude output from Saudi Arabia, and a new limit on Iran’s production to the level it was at before the USA and the European Union impose sanctions on the nation. The total production cut is reported to be as much as 4.5% of OPEC’s total production, or 1.2 million barrels per day.

EUR/USD declined to 1.0592 as of 17:34 GMT, after the pair started trading on Wednesday at 1.0651. EUR/USD lowest level today was 1.0560 at 16:15 GMT.

The Dollar Index, which measures the strength of the US currency against its major peers, rose to 101.53 at 17:35 GMT today, from 100.93 on Tuesday.

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