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By XE Market Analysis January 24, 2020 2:36 pm
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    XE Market Analysis: Asia - Jan 24, 2020

    The Dollar and Yen rallied modestly in N.Y. trade on Friday, with safe-haven buying the main driver into the weekend. Nerves were ramped up some as the coronavirus outbreak appeared to have worsened. More cities on lockdown in China, along with reports that a second U.S. case was identified, saw stocks and Treasury yields tumble. EUR-USD fell to near two-month lows of 1.1020 from over 1.1040 at the open. USD-JPY printed lows under 109.25, down from near 109.60 as risk conditions deteriorated. USD-CAD headed to highs over 1.3150 as oil prices plunged, while Cable fell back toward 1.3060 from N.Y. highs over 1.3100.

    [EUR, USD]
    EUR-USD losses have continued to add up, with the pairing touching 1.1020 lows, levels last seen on December 2. Safe-haven flows into the Dollar (and Treasuries) have been the main driver into the weekend. The coronavirus appears to be behind the buying, with a third case expected to be confirmed in the U.S., and Nepal reporting its first case. Beijing has canceled many lunar new year celebration events, underscoring the depth of concern there. For EUR-USD, 1.1000 is a good psych support level, and a break there will see the target moved to the November 29 base of 1.0981.

    [USD, JPY]
    USD-JPY traded under Thursday's two-plus week low of 109.26, bottoming under 109.25 in early afternoon trade. The downdraft on Wall Street, driven by reports of a potentially third U.S. case of coronavirus, has kept USD-JPY upside contained. The viral outbreak will remain a major factor impacting risk-taking levels in the coming days, where evidence of spreading of the virus will likely keep equities and USD-JPY under pressure. USD-JPY support comes at the 50-day moving average, currently at 109.19.

    [GBP, USD]
    Sterling rallied in the immediate wake of an unambiguously solid outcome of the UK's preliminary January PMI surveys, only to quickly turn sharply lower, and more than give back post-data gains. Cable topped at better than two-week highs of 1.3164, later falling to 1.3057 into the London close. The selling-into-gains reaction was telling of an underlying bearish view of the pound, with Brexit, and more particularly signs that the U.K. government is pursuing a strong break from the EU, behind Sterling weakness. In addition, safe-haven flows into the Dollar on coronavirus concerns weighed.

    [USD, CHF]
    EUR-CHF carved out a fresh 33-month low at 1.0700 on Friday. Both the cross and USD-CHF have more than given back their respective rebound gains of yesterday. A richening in safe-haven premiums in global markets is underpinning the Swiss currency, long with the Yen. This comes with Asian stock markets coming back under heavy pressure, and about contagion of the coronavirus, with concerns remaining, despite Beijing's best efforts, that the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday period will accelerate its spread.

    [USD, CAD]
    USD-CAD touched session lows of 1.3119 following the improved Canada retail sales data, though later headed back over 1.3150, above its 50-day moving average of 1.3146. Another sharp downdraft in oil prices was supportive since early in the session, with WTI crude printing nearly three-month lows of $53.88, as China coronavirus fears weigh. Save-haven USD buying, driven by the virus outbreak also supported.

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