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Risk leans upwards despite new pandemic worries

Chris Lee

Risk leans upwards despite new pandemic worries

Some of the world’s riskier currencies managed to surge ahead in the forex markets on Monday morning despite the fact that the coronavirus pandemic appeared to be showing signs of returning.

According to figures from the World Health Organisation, Sunday saw a big spike in the number of coronavirus cases reported worldwide.

In Germany in particular, meanwhile, the spread of cases noted there was also on the up.

However, this did not appear to be enough to reduce market sentiment against the riskier currencies.

The Australian dollar rose by half a percentage point over the course of the day against the greenback.

This left it at 0.6865 in this pair.

Its rise was fuelled in part by a set of assertive comments from the governor of the country’s central bank in which he said that the pandemic’s hit would not be as negative as some appeared to have predicted.

He also dismissed concerns about the surge in value of the Aussie dollar in recent weeks and months.

Its close neighbour, New Zealand, saw a similar rise, reaching 0.6439 at one stage.

The news that figures were rising was tempered somewhat by information about the responses from authorities in affected areas.

In China, for example, serious measures taken to contain an outbreak in the capital city of Beijing appeared to be showing tentative signs of working, with the level of new cases dropping.

Elsewhere around the world, the US dollar index, which tracks the performance of the currency against several others from across the globe, went down in value as trading for the week commenced in Asia.

It was seen at 97.452 overall as trading was about to reach London in the morning, which represented a dip of a fifth of a percentage point.

The single European currency rose inversely to the dollar index, heading up by a fifth of a percentage point to reach 1.1201.

This spelled some welcome relief for traders of this currency, and came after government leaders within the EU discussed the requirement for economic stimulus following the coronavirus pandemic.

They did not, however, appear to come to any firm conclusions about how to do this.

In comments that echoed at least part of those made by the leadership of the Australian central bank, Jens Weidmann, who serves as President of the Bundesbank central bank in Germany, claimed that Germany was also coming out of the economic woods.

He said that the country’s economy was now on a path to getting slowly back to normal.

In Japan, the yen there – which is still considered to be a safe-haven currency that is flocked to in times of crisis – remained close to its previous position of 106.92 to the dollar.

The foreign exchange trading week looks set to be a data-heavy one, with purchasing managers’ index information set to come out from various nations around the world on Tuesday.

These include Germany, France, the US and several others, and will focus on both services and manufacturing.

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Chris Lee
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