Stagnation in forex markets over further trade deal woes

Chris Lee

The leading currencies in the international foreign exchange market barely moved on Wednesday after continued fears about the state of the ongoing US-China trade talks were raised.

The language from leaders involved in the talks appears to have begun to make some shifts towards a positive outcome being reached.

On Wednesday, for example, President Donald Trump claimed that the US government was going through the “final throes” of preparation to strike a deal with its Chinese counterpart.

However, traders appeared to have wised up to the seeming inevitability of positive signs emerging and then being struck down.

One reason why some may be cynical of the prospects of a deal is that the US President is continuing to voice his support for those carrying out protests in the Chinese special administrative region of Hong Kong – a move which is likely to be causing some question marks.

Aside from the Hong Kong issue, the proximity to a possible market-moving deal and the increased chances of it being released soon could also lead traders to hold off on making significant currency investments until it has gone through.

The main consequence of these developments was a widespread stagnation in the value of many major currencies.

In its pair with the safe-haven Japanese yen, the US dollar was seen at 109.05 – which was close to its fortnightly best performance of 109.205, which was seen yesterday (Tuesday).

The single European currency was trading at $1.1023.

Once again, this currency had hardly changed.

The US dollar will now have to battle with a number of events that could threaten its position.

A wide range of different economic metrics will be released on Wednesday afternoon, including jobless claims and gross domestic production information.

While on Thursday, the Thanksgiving holiday could also cause lower trading volumes.

Elsewhere around the world, the British pound went down by a fifth of a percentage point at one stage in its pair with the US dollar.

It was seen at $1.2843 at one point, and this was largely attributed to a suggestion by some opinion polls that Boris Johnson’s governing Conservative Party may be seeing a decline in support.

The Australian dollar was down by 0.1% in its pair with the US dollar.

It was spotted at $0.6779 at one stage, and this was most likely due to an expectation among some analysts that the country’s central bank – the Reserve Bank of Australia – was likely to consider cutting rates not once but twice in 2020.

It is also expected to commit to a programme of quantitative easing (QE).

The Australian dollar has been perceived as being at risk recently due to concerns about the global trade situation.

The currency is very sensitive to trade fluctuations, especially where China is concerned – meaning that the ongoing US-China trade battle is putting it at risk.

One winner was the Swedish crown, which saw a rise of 0.1% against the single European currency.

It was spotted at 10.555 in this pair at one stage.

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