Daily Afternoon Report 02.02.2016

The U.S. dollar climbed higher against its Canadian counterpart on Tuesday, as declining oil prices weighed on demand for the commodity-related Canadian currency.

Oil prices dropped over 5% back toward $30 a barrel after Iran said it planned to increase crude exports to 2.3 million barrels per day in its next fiscal year, starting March 21.

Meanwhile, investors remained cautious amid ongoing concerns over global economic growth after data on Monday showed that manufacturing activity in China contracted for a sixth straight month in January.

Sentiment on the greenback remained fragile after data showed that manufacturing activity in the U.S. contracted again in January, holding near levels not seen since July 2009 and that U.S. consumer spending was flat in December.

Earlier Tuesday, Eurostat said that the euro zone’s unemployment rate fell to 10.4% from 10.5% in November. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since September 2011. Analysts had expected the jobless rate to hold steady at 10.5% in December.

The number of unemployed people in Germany decreased by 20,000 last month, better than expectations for a drop of 7,000. Jobless claims fell by 16,000 in December, whose figure was revised from a previously reported decline of 14,000.

Sterling came under pressure after research firm Markit said its U.K. construction purchasing managers’ index fell to 55.0 last month from a reading of 57.8 in December. Economists had expected the index to decline to 57.5 in January.

In a widely expected move, the Reserve Bank of Australia held its benchmark interest rate at 2.00% on Tuesday

In a statement following the decision, the central bank said however that subdued inflation may “provide scope for easier policy”

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was slipped 0.11% to 98.94.