Oil prices, which hit record highs above US$147 dollars a barrel earlier this month, tumbled several dollars to US$122. As oil prices continue to decline and economic news coming in is better-than-expected, the dollar has gained in the global markets. A rebound on Wall Street has also helped enhance wider optimism in the US economy and financial markets. A recent report has indicated that sales at US chain stores had risen in the week ended July 26 compared with the prior week. A surprise jump has been recorded in US consumer confidence.
A recent run of weak eurozone data is adding up to fears of a European slowdown that might be deeper and more prolonged than originally thought.