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FOREX-Yen edges up on virus woes, euro hounded before GDP data

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The Japanese yen held gains against the dollar on Friday, as fresh doubts about the scale of the coronavirus outbreak supported demand for safe-haven currencies.

The Chinese yuan nursed losses as the flu-like virus, which emerged late last year in China's central Hubei province, cast a deeper shadow over the economic outlook.

The euro languished at multi-year lows versus the dollar and the Swiss franc as investors grow more pessimistic about the outlook in the common currency bloc before the release of gross domestic product data later on Friday.

In contrast, the pound rode a wave of optimism on hopes that a British cabinet reshuffle will lead to more expansionary fiscal policy to support growth.

Officials in Hubei rattled financial markets on Thursday by announcing a sharp increase in new infections and deaths from the coronavirus, reflecting the adoption of a new method to diagnose the illness. about the real extent of the epidemic is likely to discourage investors from taking on excessive risk until there is sufficient evidence that its spread has slowed.

"There is a return of risk aversion, so yen and other safe-haven assets have risen, but reaction so far has been temporary and limited," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

"The change of reporting standards in China is a concern. There is a fear that China is still hiding something."

The yen JPY=EBS edged up to 109.80 per dollar in Asia on Friday, following a 0.25% gain the previous session.

In the onshore market, the yuan CNY=CFXS slipped 0.06% to 6.9818 per dollar, while its offshore counterpart CNH=D3 eased slightly to 6.9853, following a 0.2% decline on Thursday.

Hubei officials on Friday reported 4,823 new cases and 116 new deaths as of Feb. 13, but investors were still reeling after the province reported 14,840 new cases and a record daily increase in deaths on Thursday, using new diagnostic methods to reclassify a backlog of cases. economy will grow at its slowest rate since the financial crisis in the current quarter, according to a Reuters poll of economists who said the downturn will be short-lived if the outbreak is contained. coronavirus was first detected in Hubei's capital Wuhan and has so far claimed more than 1,300 lives in China and spread to 24 other countries.

The euro EUR=EBS fell 0.1% to $1.0834, the lowest since April 2017, as investors braced for the release of GDP data from Germany and the euro zone later on Friday.

The single currency EURCHF=EBS was quoted at 1.0619 Swiss francs, close to the lowest since August 2015. The euro EURGBP=D3 eased slightly to 83.07 pence, close to the weakest since December.

Sentiment for the euro worsened after data earlier this weak showing a plunge in euro zone manufacturing output reinforced expectations that monetary policy will remain accommodative. pound GBP=D3 was little changed at $1.3046 following a 0.64% gain on Thursday due to expectations that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's appointment of a new finance minister will lead to more fiscal spending to help Britain weather its transition away from the European Union.


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FOREX-Euro skids to new low ahead of GDP data, dollar shines

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 Euro weakest since April 2017 on growth concerns

* Dollar finds more buyers amid coronavirus worries

* Yen, Swiss franc well supported as investors stay nervous

The euro eased to another nearly three-year low on Friday as investors worried about slowing growth momentum in the euro zone ahead of an estimate of how its economy performed in the fourth quarter.

The European single currency has lost 1% so far this week and is on track for its worst two-week performance since mid-2018. Fourth-quarter gross domestic product data is due at 1000 GMT - economists polled by Reuters expect 0.1% quarter-on-quarter growth, the same as the previous 3-month period.

"The bearish trend on EUR/USD may continue today as growth data out of the euro zone are quite unlikely to improve the grim economic outlook for the area," ING analysts said in a note.

"At this stage, with worries around the negative impacts of coronavirus on the euro zone economy, even some better-than-expected data may not be enough to trigger an inversion in the bearish EUR trend."

The euro fell to $1.0827 EUR=EBS overnight before settling at $1.0841, down marginally on the day.

The single currency has been buffeted by signs of a slowdown in powerhouse Germany and ongoing demand for dollars. Against the Swiss franc, the euro weakened to another 4-1/2 year low of 1.060 francs EURCHF=EBS . about the extent of the coronavirus in China after officials in Hubei announced a sharp increase in new infections and deaths has kept both the safe-haven yen and the dollar well supported. dollar index .DXY ., which measures the currency against a basket of rivals, rose to its strongest since October. It has risen 0.4% this week - on top of gains of 1.3% last week.

As well as euro zone data, traders are also waiting for a batch of U.S. data later in the day including retail sales and industrial production numbers.

The yen JPY=EBS edged up to 109.77 per dollar on Friday, following a 0.25% gain the previous session.

In the onshore market, China's yuan CNY=CFXS slipped 0.06% to 6.9818 per dollar, while its offshore counterpart CNH=EBS clawed back earlier losses and was last at 6.985, following a 0.2% decline on Thursday.

Uncertainty about the real extent of the epidemic is likely to discourage investors from taking on excessive risk until there is sufficient evidence that its spread has slowed.

"There is a return of risk aversion, so yen and other safe-haven assets have risen, but reaction so far has been temporary and limited," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

Sterling consolidated gains around the $1.3060 mark GBP=D3 after jumping on Thursday when the announcement of a new British finance minister, an ultra-loyalist to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, raised expectations that the upcoming budget would increase public spending to boost the economy following Britain's Jan. 31 withdrawal from the European Union.

Against the euro, the pound rose 0.1% to 82.995 pence EURGBP=D3 , close to a 2-month high.


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Vietnam looks to Indian market to ease virus hit to farm exports

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Vietnam is seeking to boost its farm produce exports to India to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus on the Southeast Asian country's trade with China, its largest trading partner.

Vietnam has asked India to reduce trade barriers on its exports, such as black pepper and cashew nuts, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said on Friday.

"Vietnam and India have room to significantly increase bilateral trade," the ministry said in a statement, adding that the two countries target to raise trade to $15 billion from $11.3 billion last year.

The statement comes amid a visit by Vietnam deputy trade minister Cao Quoc Hung to India "to boost bilateral trade and discuss measures to tackle difficulties faced by Vietnam's farm produce exports due to the disease outbreak in China."

The ministry said Vietnam also wants to boost sales of other products, including fresh fruits and farmed fish, to India. China has been its largest market for these products.

Trade between Vietnam and China, where more than 1,400 people have died from the virus, is expected to be severely hit by travel curbs and closure of borders over virus concerns.

Vietnam moved to quarantine a community of 10,000 people near the capital on Thursday as the number of coronavirus cases rose to 16.

Euro plunges against Swiss franc as China virus cases soar

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The euro fell to a four-and-a-half-year low against the Swiss franc on Thursday and the yen gained as investors sought safe havens after China's Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, reported a sharp increase in the number of new cases.

Using a new method of diagnosis, the province reported on Thursday 14,840 new cases of the virus as of Feb. 12, up from 1,638 new cases on Tuesday. The number of deaths in the province rose by 242, a daily record, to 1,310.

"Taken together, it suggests fading the overnight reaction," said Elsa Lignos, global head of FX strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

The initial move was to dump risky assets, however. After weakening to a three-and-a-half-week low the day before, the yen gained 0.3% against the dollar on Thursday to 109.770 yen.

The euro dipped to 1.0622 francs, below its 2016 trough of 1.0623 and its lowest level since August 2015. It last stood around 1.06235 (EURCHF=).

"When you see numbers like this, you can't help but move to risk-off trades, which means buy the yen and sell stocks," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank in Tokyo.

In the onshore market, the yuan slipped 0.13% to 6.9809 per dollar. The offshore yuan dropped 0.14% to 6.9830.

The Australian dollar , widely used as a proxy for risk on Chinese assets, fell 0.22% to $0.6724. The New Zealand dollar slipped 0.2% to $0.6453.

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Forex - Euro Stuck Near 2 1/2-Year Low After Virus Surge Hits Mood

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 The euro was stuck near a two-and-a-half-year low after early trading on Thursday, after a fresh surge in coronavirus cases in China added to concerns about the impact of the outbreak on an already weak eurozone economy.

By 3 AM ET (0800 GMT), EURUSD was at $1.0877, up less than 1% on the day and only just off an overnight low of $1.0865, which marked its lowest level since May 2017. GBP/USD was up 0.2% at $1.2985

Sentiment toward the euro has been badly hit by the sharpest drop in industrial production in a decade in December, which pointed to the likelihood of recession in both Germany and Italy, the biggest and third-biggest economies in the currency bloc.

Analysts at Barclays (LON:BARC) warned of a “synchronized decline” in output across the region, but noted that it contrasted with an improvement in sentiment surveys in January.

“As surveys point to a (sizeable) rebound in January and the extent of output disruption caused by the outbreak of nCov remains hard to gauge, the picture for manufacturing activity in Q1 remains blurry,” they wrote.

There was no noticeable impact from jobless data in France on Thursday, which showed the unemployment rate fell sharply to 8.1% in the fourth quarter, its lowest since before the financial crisis in 2008.

Overnight, Chinese authorities had revised estimates for cases of the Covid-19 disease by nearly one-third after switching to a new testing methodology. The number of recorded deaths also leaped by over 200. The Communist Party also dismissed its Hubei regional head and its city chief in Wuhan, in an effort to assuage public anger at the way it has handled the crisis so far.

“This outbreak could still go in any direction,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing in Geneva on Wednesday.

Haven currencies such as the yen and Swiss franc, ticked up after losing over 1% against the dollar since the start of the month. However, their gains were still moderate. By 3 AM ET, USD/JPY was at 109.75 yen, down 0.3%, while USD/CHF was 0.1% lower at 0.9770.

The greenback was higher against most emerging currencies, however. It hit a nine-month high against the Turkish lira and was up 0.2% against the Chinese yuan at 6.9812.


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Oil Prices Mixed After Jumping Amid Virus Fight Hopes; EIA Weekly Data in Focus

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Oil prices were mixed on Thursday in Asia after jumping more than 2% in the previous session amid hopes that China was gaining traction on its fight againstthe coronavirus outbreak.

U.S. Crude Oil WTI Futures rose 0.2% to $51.25 by 12:50 AM ET (4:50 GMT). International Brent Oil Futures dropped 0.1% to $55.73.

Oil prices gained on Wednesday after China said the cases confirmed inside the country declined for two days in a row.

The markets were put under pressure yet again today after China’s Hubei province reported almost 15,000 new coronavirus cases as it changed its method for counting infections.

The government of the province said it had carried out a review of past suspected cases and revised its data to include “clinically diagnosed” cases in its daily disclosure.

In other news, OPEC, in its monthly report, said 2020 demand for its crude will average 29.3 million barrels per day, 200,000 bpd less than previously thought. OPEC pumped below that rate in January anyway, suggesting a 2020 supply deficit.

On the data front, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that oil inventories climbed by 7.5 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 7. Analysts were looking for a build of about 3 million barrels, according to forecasts compiled by Investing.com.

Gasoline inventories fell by 95,000 barrels, versus expectations for a rise of about 550,000 barrels. Distillate stockpiles fell by 2 million barrels, compared with forecasts for a decline of about 560,000 barrels.

WTI futures pared gains, rising 2.3%. They were up about 3.5% right before the numbers came out.


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Forex - Dollar Stays Firm; Powell Not Moved by Virus

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The U.S. dollar continued to show strength Wednesday, helped by comments from the head of the U.S. central bank that the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in China has done little to alter the expected path of U.S. interest rates.

At 03:10 ET (0810 GMT), EUR/USD traded at 1.0916, just off Monday’s four-month low. GBP/USD traded at 1.2969, just 0.1% higher. The U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, stood at 98.627, up 0.1%, approaching the levels last seen in mid-October.

Overnight, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in remarks before U.S. lawmakers that the central bank is closely monitoring the fallout from the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China, “which could lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy.”

However, Powell stopped short of saying the disease had changed the central bank baseline outlook for the U.S. economy.

“The FOMC believes that the current stance of monetary policy will support continued economic growth, a strong labor market and inflation returning to the committee’s symmetric 2% objective,” Powell said. “As long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with this outlook, the current stance of monetary policy will likely remain appropriate.”

The January 2021 Fed funds futures currently suggests the market is pricing in at least one rate cut of 25 basis points by the end of 2020, but employment growth has been a lot stronger than expected over the last couple of months and sentiment surveys have tended to surprise to the upside.

Even if the Federal Reserve does make a quarter-point cut this year - one is fully priced in by September - a base rate of then 1.5%for fed funds would still be considerably higher than what most other developed market central banks can offer.

The flip side of dollar strength is the weakness of the euro.

EUR/USD continues to be weighed down by concern about the coronavirus and its impact on the eurozone economy,” said analysts at ING in a research note. “At this point, a break below the 1.0900 mark (also, a multi-year low) seems in the cards, especially as we expect a round of grim eurozone data this week.”

The first grim data point is likely to be the December industrial production figure for the euro zone, at 05:00 AM ET (1000 GMT), which is expected to have fallen by 1.6% month in December, an annual fall of 2.3%.

Also of note, Sweden's central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged, as expected, after surprising the market by raising in December by 25 basis points to 0%, ending five years of negative rates.

"The minutes from the December meeting emphasised that the Riksbank could cut rates again if needed," said ING, "although in reality we think the bar to either cut, or indeed hike rates anytime soon is set relatively high."

Thus any move would have an impact of the Swedish krona. At 03:10 AM ET (0810 GMT), EUR/SEK traded at 10.5076. The krona has risen around 0.3% against the euro since the Riksbank hiked

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Kiwi surges as RBNZ holds rates

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NZD/USD rebounds to one-week high

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand kept its benchmark rate unchanged at 1% at this morning’s policy meeting while noting that the coronavirus is emerging as a downside risk for the local economy. Already the tourism industry is taking a hit, with Chinese nationals barred from entering the country, and other export markets could suffer.

In addition, the RBNZ adjusted its rate path higher, seeing the June 2020 Overnight Cash Rate (OCR) at 1.01% versus 0.9% previously and the June 2021 level at 1.1%, also from 0.9% prior.

Ahead of the meeting, most analysts were expected a no-change announcement but interest rate markets were implying an 80% chance of a cut, so the unchanged announcement and upward adjustment to the rate path meant the reaction post-meeting was greater than normal. The kiwi surged more than 1% versus the US dollar and Japanese yen, while AUD/NZD fell the most since November 13.

 

Q1 GDP forecast halved

In the subsequent press conference, Governor Orr mentioned that the Bank has assumed the coronavirus would last six weeks, but doubted there would be a need for policy adjustment due to the virus effect. The Bank had removed half of the expected GDP growth in Q1 from its forecasts. Westpac estimates the virus shock could trim Q1 GDP to just 0.1% while ASB Bank predicts a 0.1% contraction.

NZD/USD rose the most since December 2 and tested the 100-day moving average at 0.6470. The 200-day moving average sits above at 0.6501.

 



 Powell lifts Wall Street

In the first day of his semi-annual testimony, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the US economy seemed quite resilient, though the coronavirus outbreak remains an uncertainty. He added that as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with the current outlook, the monetary policy stance will likely remain appropriate. He also didn’t mention any shift to current policy thinking that rates will remain on hold throughout 2020.

Most US indices crept higher yesterday, posting modest incremental gains to reach new record highs. The rally was extending during a quiet Asian session, with US indices adding between 0.11% and 0.20%. Asian equities were mixed, with the Japan225 index slipping 0.32% while the China50 index rose 0.03%, and the HongKong33 index gaining 0.17%.

 

Coronavirus update

Optimists looking at the coronavirus data will focus on the fact that the number of new cases in China rose at the slowest pace since January 30, and the increase in the number of virus-linked deaths slowed to 97 from 108 the previous day. Should we see the number of new cases grind to a halt in the not too distant future, that would a boon for risk appetite.

 

Powell part two

The data calendar is again quite barren today, with Powell’s second day of testimony the major highlight. He’s not likely to shift from the tone of yesterday’s testimony and it is the Q&A session which will garner more interest.

Euro-zone industrial production probably fell 1.6% m/m in December, wiping out November’s small increase of just 0.2%. ECB’s Lane is scheduled to speak today. The UK reveals its Autumn budget statement while Fed’s Harker speaks before Powell’s testimony.

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USD/INR keeps losses directed towards 71.00 as risk-tone remains lighter

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  • USD/INR registers three-day losing streak.
  • Coronavirus headlines seem to drive the trade sentiment while odds of the US-India trade pact add strength to the Indian rupee (INR).
  • News from China, the US Fed will be the keys to watch.

USD/INR extends losses, currently around 71.21, -0.10%, as the Indian markets open for trading on Wednesday. The pair recently takes clues from optimism in Asia while paying a little heed to the strong US dollar.

In addition to receding cases of coronavirus infections in China, the global rating agency Moody’s statements also strengthened the INR. Coronavirus outbreak in China is expected to have a minimal impact on the Indian ports its rates due to low China-related throughput they handle. The share of China-linked container cargo is less than 5 percent by volume for the Indian ports it rates. Additionally, manufacturers will likely seek alternative sources of supply for components to the extent that supply chain disruptions in China persist, said the rating giant on Tuesday.

Further, the US President Donald Trump will also visit Indian during late-February and is expected to sign a trade pact (hopefully). Additionally, news from Reuters, quoting the country’s economic adviser Sanjeev Sanyal, also pleased the pair sellers as it said that Indian economic growth is likely to rebound from more than a six-year low of 4.5% in the July-September quarter.While portraying the same, the US 10-year treasury yields rise nearly three basis points to 1.616% with most Asian stocks also in green by the press time.

Moving on, India’s December month Industrial Output, prior and expected 1.8%, could offer immediate direction with the second day of the Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony and China headlines likely keeping the driver’s seat.

Technical Analysis

Unless successfully breaking a downward sloping trend line since January 08, at 71.52 now, prices are less likely to avoid visiting 71.00.

ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT LEVELS


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OVERVIEW
Today last price71.2125
Today Daily Change-0.0725
Today Daily Change %-0.10%
Today daily open71.285
 
TRENDS
Daily SMA2071.2443
Daily SMA5071.2007
Daily SMA10071.2216
Daily SMA20070.6601
 
LEVELS
Previous Daily High71.51
Previous Daily Low71.1455
Previous Weekly High71.8045
Previous Weekly Low71.077
Previous Monthly High72.57
Previous Monthly Low70.5875
Daily Fibonacci 38.2%71.2847
Daily Fibonacci 61.8%71.3708
Daily Pivot Point S171.117
Daily Pivot Point S270.949
Daily Pivot Point S370.7525
Daily Pivot Point R171.4815
Daily Pivot Point R271.678
Daily Pivot Point R371.846

Forex - NZD/USD Pair Gains Almost 1% After RBNZ Holds Rates Unchanged

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The New Zealand dollar gained almost 1% against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday in Asia after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) left interest rates unchanged as expected and said forecasts showed no chance of a cut this year.

The NZD/USD pair last traded at 0.6456 by 12:05 AM ET (04:05 GMT), up 0.9%.

Meanwhile, the AUD/USD pair traded 0.2% higher at 0.6728 as the Westpac Consumer Sentiment Index jumped by 2.3% to 95.5 in February. In January, the index had fallen by 1.8% to 93.4. Economists had forecast a more modest 1.4% rise.

The U.S. dollar index inched up 0.1% to 98.657. Overnight, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed is watching the coronavirus impact carefully, without hinting that any imminent action was needed, claiming he wanted to "resist the temptation to speculate" about the potential disruptions from the outbreak.

"'What will be the effects on the U.S. economy?' 'Will they be persistent?' 'Will they be material?' That’s really the question," Powell said.

On the data front, the U.S. Labor Department's latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report, a measure of labor demand, showed job openings in January fell to about 6.43 million, missing expectations of 7 million.

The EUR/USD pair was little changed at 1.0911. Industrial production figures are due out of the Eurozone later today.

The USD/CNY pair was also near flat at 6.9626. On the coronavirus front, China said the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 1,113 as of Feb. 11, with 97 additional fatalities reported. Confirmed cases of the disease in mainland China rose to 44,653.

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