Volatility continues to surge as currencies move with abandon

David Hobart

Foreign exchange pairs around the world swung with wild abandon on Wednesday as volatility gripped the forex markets.

Volatility was the name of the game for several key currencies.

According to Deutsche Bank, which maintains an FX Volatility Index that carries the code .DBCVIX, volatility was noted at 9.72 at one stage on Wednesday evening.

Earlier on this week, it reached a position of 10.18 – which was its highest point in three years.

This came after it saw a significant low point just last month, of almost 5 – representing just how the foreign exchange markets have undergone a significant application of volatility in the last few weeks as a direct result of coronavirus.

Elsewhere on Wednesday night, forex press articles were focussing in particular on the performance of the safe haven Japanese yen.

This currency saw a rise of 5% in its pair against the US dollar in just the few short days between Thursday of last week and Monday of this week.

Wednesday saw the US dollar see even further declines in its performance.

It was down in its pairs against the yen, where it dropped by 0.9%, and the Swiss franc, where it went down by a fifth of a percentage point.

In this latter pair, the greenback was seen at 0.9378 at one stage.

The single European currency, which has surged in recent weeks as the coronavirus has raged around the world, did not see much of a change in its pair with the greenback.

It was noted at $1.1274 here at one point.

However, the US dollar did manage to see some good news.

The dollar index, which is an artificial tool used by traders to assess the performance of the greenback relative to several other major global currencies, was up by a fifth of a percentage point.

It was seen at 96.517 overall.

This development came despite the news from the US that President Donald Trump, who has undergone heavy criticism for his management of the federal government’s response to the outbreak, did not appear to be willing to engage in full-on stimulus.

All the markets really had to go on was Trump’s pledge yesterday to institute a tax cut for payrolls, although this was not enough.

Over the Atlantic in the UK, the emergency rate cut instituted by the Bank of England on Wednesday morning had an effect on the value of sterling.

The pound was down by 0.6% in total in its pair against the US dollar, which roughly matched the changes to the stock market.

It was seen at $1.2835 at one stage.

In its pair against the single European currency, it was down by 0.6% again and reached 87.87 pence per euro at one point.

It is widely expected that tomorrow (Thursday) will see a rate cut from the European Central Bank as part of the efforts of central bankers and others to combat the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

It is expected that the cut will equal 10 basis points, although this is not yet confirmed.

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David Hobart
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