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By XE Market Analysis March 12, 2020 2:48 pm
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    XE Market Analysis: Asia - Mar 12, 2020

    The Dollar index rallied to two-week highs of 97.64, up from overnight Asian lows of 96.09, and Monday lows of 94.65. Safe-haven USD demand was noted given the severe risk-off backdrop, which allowed even risk-sensitive USD-JPY to post gains over 105.00 EUR-USD printed better than one-week lows of 1.1059, while USD-CAD made four-year highs of 1.3877. Cable meanwhile touched five-month lows under 1.25. Wall Street and Treasury yields headed sharply lower again, as pandemic fears show no sign of easing. U.S. PPI and jobless claims data were ignored by the markets. Later in the session, stocks got a brief boost, while the Dollar turned modestly lower as the Fed announced an increased Treasury purchase program.

    [EUR, USD]
    EUR-USD popped over 1.1300 from under 1.1210 following the ECB announcement, where the expected small rate cut did not materialize. Other easing measures however, including the stepping up of bond purchases quickly saw the Euro tumble back to six-session lows of 1.1198. The tempered response from the ECB though, will have little impact on EUR-USD overall, with positive news on the virus front needed to stabilize markets. EUR-USD losses continued, seeing a low of 1.1059 after the London close. The Fed's announcement to increase Treasury purchases, saw the EUR later climb back over 1.1190.

    [USD, JPY]
    USD-JPY rallied through the N.Y. session, running up to 105.80 from opening lows of 103.51. The move higher came despite the severe equity market losses, lower Treasury yields, and prospects for potentially 100 basis points of Fed rate cuts on March 18. Safe-haven flows have seen the Dollar rally broadly today, as pandemic uncertainty remains high. The Yen usually benefits from risk-off conditions, though today has been an outlier on that front. Tuesday's 105.92 is the next upside target.

    [GBP, USD]
    Cable fell to five-month lows under 1.2500, aided by the BoE's 50 bp rat cut yesterday, which was a largely unexpected intra-meeting emergency move. Save haven USD demand also weighed on Sterling. The government backed-up the BoE's rate cut with a massive GBP 30 bln fiscal spending plan. Going forward, we expect the pound to be prone to underperformance. With the UK and Eurozone at risk of recession, this is not a good time for trade negotiations between the UK and EU, and the UK's desire to leave the post-Brexit transition membership of the EU's single market and customs union at the end of the year.

    [USD, CHF]
    EUR-CHF saw new five-year lows of 1.0541 on Thursday. The cross continued reflecting safe haven demand for the Swiss currency as concerns rise about the global economic disruptions being caused by efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus. The Swiss franc can be expected to rise further in the coming days, as the virus continue to spread.

    [USD, CAD]
    USD-CAD shot up to fresh four-year highs, topping at 1.3877 at mid-session in North American trade. The pairing was as low as 1.3423 as recently as Monday. Another sharp sell-off in oil prices, along with yet another huge risk-off session brought USD-CAD buyers into the market. Until the state of the globe becomes more clear, the CAD is likely to remain under pressure. USD-CAD dip buying is seen as in vogue for now.

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