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Coronavirus panic drives US dollar strength

Currency rates were extremely volatile last week as the coronavirus situation worsened day by day with various countries implementing ever-tougher measures to stop the spread of the disease.

US dollar only show in town as virus panic hits

The worsening pandemic crisis has led to a global scramble for US dollars and multi-decade lows for a range of major currencies against the greenback including the Australian dollar (18 years) and British pound (35 years).


RBA actions lifts battered Aussie

The Aussie dollar has resumed its poor form this week dropping upto 1.5% during Monday morning trading.

Last week was a week to forget for AUD, however the Reserve Bank of Australia’s stimulus package and 25 basis point rate cut on Thursday afternoon did pull the Australian dollar back up from an 18-year low.

After volatile trading AUD/USD finished the week a shade under US58¢ (Friday afternoon) up from a panic driven low of US55.11¢ early Thursday morning.

Over the last 14-DAYS some notable drops for the AU dollar have been:

AUD/USD▼11% AUD/EUR▼8% AUD/NZD▼3% AUD/JPY▼8.5%

The 14-Day drop for the Aussie against pound Sterling has been only 2% due to the pound’s own struggles against the greenback.

The weakness of the Aussie creates an opportunity for Australian expats or businesses looking to repatriate funds.

Whether this is the bottom or not is hard to tell, Westpac was quoted in the press as saying “is hard to call a low for the likes of the Aussie, Kiwi and British pound”.

NAB said the local currency (AUD) could fall as low as US50¢ during the second quarter of the calendar year.

Australia has implemented tough new restrictions to combat coronavirus, shutting down ‘non-essential’ services such as grocery stores across the country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison reminding Australians there is no need to panic buy.

Kiwi dollar also down sharply

While the Kiwi dollar is down 14-DAY▼9.6% against USD against the Aussie dollar NZD/AUD is UP 2.1% and flirted with parity several time last week before dropping back to AU98¢.

CAD double down

The Canadian dollar conitnues to suffer from the double blow of the virus and the panic sell-off in oil towards a 17-year low.

Over the last 14-DAYS some notable drops for the Canadian dollar have been:

CAD/USD▼7% CAD/EUR▼4% CAD/JPY▼4.6%

However over the same 14 day period against pound sterling the loonie has risen 2.3% due to the pound’s own struggles against the greenback.

EUR/USD weakness but euro strong vs other currencies

A €750 billion emergency asset-purchase program by the European Central Bank did little to stabilize the Euro, pointing to further losses are likely in EUR/USD.

However, the outlook for the euro against other currencies such as the GBP, AUD and NZD is more positive.

Over the last 14-DAYS some notable moves for the common currency have been:

EUR/USD▼3% EUR/GBP▲6% EUR/AUD▲9% EUR/NZD▲6.8%

Pound weakness except vs Aussie

Over the last 14-DAYS some notable moves for pound sterling have been:

GBP/USD▼9% GBP/AUD▲2.5% GBP/EUR▼6% GBP/JPY▼6.5%

US dollar haven in flight to safety

The US dollar was up against all major currencies over the week, even the safe havens Japanese yen and Swiss franc.

Over the last 14-DAYS some notable gains for the US dollar have been:

USD/AUD▲13% USD/EUR▲3.2% USD/CAD▲7.4% USD/JPY▲2.7%

The strength of the US dollar creates an opportunity for expats living in the US or foreign businesses with US earnings to repatriate funds. As well as for US companies with foreign suppliers or non US-dollar debt.

Stay Safe and Wash your Hands!

The BER Team

 
Please note that the opinions of our authors are their own and do not reflect the opinion of Best Exchange Rates and should not be taken as a reference to buy or sell any financial product.
 
 

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