Crude drops; dollar gains with eyes on central banks

Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:57pm EDT
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By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday as Iran dashed hopes of a coordinated production freeze, while the dollar rose ahead of a policy meeting at the U.S. central bank.

A gauge of stocks across the globe ticked up, with Wall Street weighed by commodity shares as Europe rose partly on a positive view of the auto industry.

Attention switched this week to policy decisions from the Bank of Japan, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, among others. They follow last week's interest rate cut, asset-purchase program extension and new cheap loans for banks pledge at the European Central Bank.

The Fed, which ends its two-day policy meeting on Wednesday, has said it is on track to raise rates gradually in 2016, but doing so will hinge on the health of the economy. Recent data has shown above-forecast jobs creation but wage growth remains a concern.

The euro EUR=, which rose last week after ECB President Mario Draghi signaled further rate cuts were unlikely, fell 0.5 percent on Monday to $1.1098. The yen was flat against the greenback while sterling GBP= fell 0.6 percent to $1.4302. The dollar index .DXY rose 0.5 percent.

"It's the combination of a market that overextended in the opposite direction because of Draghi's 'no more rate cut' comment and just some corrective natural price action into the risk of (a Fed meeting) that could be a little bit more hawkish," said Richard Scalone, co-head of foreign exchange at TJM Brokerage in Chicago.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 was weighed by declines in basic materials and energy shares as commodity prices fell. As they also wait on the release of economic data, including U.S. retail sales, investors continued to interpret the ECB's move.

"To me, it's one of those days were the (stock) market is doing its best to digest some of those factors and to see what's next," said Steven Baffico, chief executive officer at Four Wood Capital Partners in New York.   Continued...

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York, March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson