Dollar Steady as ‘Brexit’ Fears and Falling Oil Prices Keep Markets Occupied

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By Jacob Maslow

The U.S. dollar was steady against a number of rival major currencies on Thursday, as fears of a potential British exit from the European Union (EU) and declining oil prices continued to rattle markets.

The U.S. dollar index was steady at 97.53, just a bit lower than the previous day’s 3-week high of 97.92.

USD/JPY was unchanged at 112.22.

Oil prices stabilized above $31 a barrel but worries over an oversupply lingered after weekly stockpile data made public on Wednesday revealed U.S. oil inventories climbing to an all-time high last week.

The greenback was also steady against the sterling, with GBP/USD closing at 1.3921, still within range of Wednesday’s 1.3875.

The pound remained under pressure as senior members of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party, expressed support for the campaign to leave the EU.

On Thursday, the Office for National Statistics reported that U.K.’s gross domestic product grew  0.5% in the first quarter, meeting expectations. It rose 0.4% in the previous quarter.

Against the single currency, the dollar was nearly unchanged, with EUR/USD trading at 1.1016.

Data made available on Thursday indicated that the euro zone’s consumer price inflation went up by 0.3% in January, slightly down from an estimate of 0.4%.

Elsewhere, USD/CHF inched up 0.20% to trade at 0.9909.

The Australian dollar was lower against its American rival, with AUD/USD dropping 0.26% to 0.7177. Meanwhile, the Kiwi currency edged higher with NZD/USD rising 0.11% to trade at 0.6668.

USD/CAD remained steady at 1.3696.

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