Due to the surprise build in U.S. crude inventories and a rising number of COVID-19 cases in India and Japan that fueled concerns in the global economy regarding demands, oil prices dropped for the third day in a row on Thursday.
Japan's government will declare the third state of emergency that could last for around two weeks in Tokyo and three western prefectures. According to some economic experts, if retailers will be closed during the Golden Week holidays, starting next week and continuing throughout early May, it may push Japan back into a recession. A renewed emergency state could also fuel concerns about whether Tokyo can host the Olympics in July. Senior economist at BNP Paribas Securities, Hiroshi Shiraishi, said: "The risk of a double-dip recession has heightened. The impact of imposing curbs on Tokyo and Osaka alone would be quite big."
Despite this, Gold was up in Asia on Thursday morning, hitting an eight-week high thanks to a weaker USD and dropping U.S. Treasury yields, which are still near multi-week lows.
Investors are focusing their attention today on the European Central Bank's (ECB) policy decision, which is expected later in the day. Any optimistic remarks or hints from the central bank about the economy are generally likely to boost the euro. Although the ECB is usually expected to continue its current strategy, some investors wonder if the meeting would signal a reduction in bond purchases starting in June. Analysts believe that tapering is a possibility and that the euro will strengthen against the dollar.
Market participants are focusing on the monetary policy of the Bank of Canada, as the bank signaled that it could start raising interest rates by the end of 2022 after cutting the pace of bond purchases. It is the first out of the Group of Seven central banks who moved towards withdrawing stimulus. On Wednesday, the Canadian dollar climbed to a six-week high against the U.S. dollar.