The USD Index, a measure of the strength of the USD against a basket of currencies, has been oscillating just above the key 100 level as markets await todays important data releases before deciding on the next direction to take the greenback in. There are 3 key release, all certain to have some kind of impact on the greenback and commodities.

First up we have the prelude to the all-important NFP data, due this Friday, in the form of the ADP Non-Farm Employment Change, expected at 191K. The figure represents the total number of newly employed people in the previous month and is an important gauge of the health of the labor market which is closely watched by the FED in making its interest rate decisions. The figure is expected at 191k, much weaker than the previous gains of 298K. The drop is largely contributed to weather conditions in the US and is already largely priced in to the price of the USD.

Secondly, we await the release of the ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI which is a leading indicator of economic health as a positive outlook by purchasing managers is regarded as being optimistic for the economy at large as the increase in production has an impact on all aspects of the economy from labor to resources. A PMI greater than 50 indicates industry expansion while a figure below 50 indicates industry contraction. Today’s figure is expected at 571, slightly lower than the last print of 57.6.

For both figures, traders will be looking to see whether the actual print beats the expected figure or not. A beat of expectations will result in the USD strengthening as the USD Index solidifies its ground above 100, leading to a fall in gold. However, worse than expected releases will see the USD weaken as bears retake the 100 level while gold climbs higher.

Topping off the day is the release of the FOMC Meeting Minutes which will give a summary of the last meeting indicating the atmosphere between the voters and the reasons they voted for a rate hike and of course clues as to factors they are watching ahead of making their next decision on whether to increase rates or not. A more hawkish report will see the USD Index climb higher while amore dovish tone will see the USD Index weaken below the 100 mark.