Today’s Exchange Rate Update: Coronavirus Panic Drives Huge Swings in Currency Markets

Pound (GBP) Plummets on Coronavirus Fears

The Pound (GBP) fell sharply during yesterday’s trading session, with the currency striking its worst levels since October as the UK moved to the ‘delay’ phase of its coronavirus response.

While the government didn’t go so far as to close schools or restrict public events, Boris Johnson described the pandemic as the ‘worst in a generation’, limiting the appeal of Sterling.

Looking ahead, any movement in the Pound today is likely to remain closely tied to coronavirus headlines as well as the publication of the minutes from the Bank of England’s (BoE) emergency rate decision.


Euro (EUR) Mixed Following ECB Rate Decision

Trade in the Euro (EUR) was mixed on Thursday as the European Central Bank (ECB) announced its coronavirus stimulus measures and ECB President Christine Lagarde warned of a ‘considerable worsening of the economic outlook’.

In an effort to support the Eurozone economy the ECB announced it would expand its quantitative easing programme by €10bn a month but leave rates unchanged, with Lagarde reiterating her calls for EU leaders to increase fiscal stimulus.

Like Lagarde, EUR investors will be keen to learn more about EU leaders plans for stimulus, with the single currency’s upside potential likely to remain limited until we start to hear more concrete details.


US Dollar (USD) Buoyed by Skittish Investors

The US Dollar (USD) strengthened yesterday, propelled higher by skittish investors flocking to the safe-haven currency amid heightened concerns over the economic impact of the coronavirus.

This is largely due to Donald Trump’s European travel ban, which sent stock markets plummeting to one year lows and stoked fears of a global recession.

Much like its peers, movement in the US Dollar will be dictated by coronavirus developments, with USD exchange rates potentially benefiting from the risk-off mood in markets.


Canadian Dollar (CAD) Slumps as Crude Sell Off Resumes

The Canadian Dollar (CAD) dove again on Thursday, with the appeal of the oil-sensitive ‘Loonie’ being dented as WTI crude fell back to $30 a barrel amidst concerns Trump’s European travel ban will hit fuel demand.


Australian Dollar (AUD) Tumbles in Risk-Off Trade

The Australian Dollar (AUD) fell heavily on Thursday thanks to heightened fears over the coronavirus and plummeting stocks.


New Zealand Dollar (NZD) Weakens amid Coronavirus Panic Selling

The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) also retreated yesterday, with a stronger US Dollar (USD) and rising fears over the coronavirus leaving the ‘Kiwi’ on the defensive.

Matthew Andrews

Contact Matthew Andrews