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Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

The dollar rose to its highest level since late November on Thursday, reversing a major market theme that had been in place for about a year.

Why it matters: The weak dollar had been a big help for large multinational companies, especially Big Tech companies, and had generally lost value in concert with the rise in stock prices for most of 2020.

What's happening: As central banks around the world, including the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, look poised to potentially restart bond-buying programs and even lower interest rates, Fed Chair Jerome Powell's insistence that the U.S. stay the course has made the dollar more attractive among market participants.

Where it stands: The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a group of developed market currencies, is now above its 100-day moving average for the first time in 10 months.

  • The dollar also rose to a 10-month high against the Japanese yen.

What to watch: A strong dollar typically weighs on the prices of oil and other commodities because they are priced in dollars.

  • But even as copper, gold and other commodity bellwethers have suffered in recent days as the dollar has gained, oil prices have continued to push higher, notching new highs.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Mar 3, 2021 - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.

Why gas prices are back up

Data: EIA and FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Gas prices are hitting new post-pandemic highs across the country, but this isn't a story of America reopening. It's really just a function of the price of oil going up.

By the numbers: Gasoline cost $2.71 on average as of Monday, per the Energy Information Administration. The highest average price was $3.59 in Los Angeles, while the lowest was $2.33 in Houston.

  • All of these prices represent the highest level seen since 2019.

The big picture: The price of crude oil reflects more than half of the cost of a gallon of gasoline. (The rest is refinery costs, distribution costs, and taxes.)

  • Demand for oil has actually been declining, per the New York Fed, but supply has been falling even faster, with the result that prices have now topped $64 for a barrel of Brent crude.
Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Mar 3, 2021 - Economy & Business

Why gas prices are back up

Data: EIA and FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Gas prices are hitting new post-pandemic highs across the country, but this isn't a story of America reopening. It's really just a function of the price of oil going up.

  • By the numbers: Gasoline cost $2.71 on average as of Monday, per the EIA. The highest average price was $3.59 in Los Angeles, while the lowest was $2.33 in Houston.
  • All of these prices represent the highest level seen since 2019.

The big picture: The price of crude oil reflects more than half of the cost of a gallon of gasoline. (The rest is refinery costs, distribution costs, and taxes.)

  • Demand for oil has actually been declining, per the New York Fed, but supply has been falling even faster, with the result that prices have now topped $64 for a barrel of Brent crude.