Currency Exchange Rate News: Coronavirus Prompts Emergency Fed Rate Cut, Oil Prices Tank

Pound (GBP) Struggles amid Government Coronavirus Criticism

Trade in the Pound (GBP) was mixed yesterday, with Sterling sentiment in flux amid growing criticism over the UK government’s approach to containing the coronavirus.

Unlike its European neighbours, the UK is still yet to announce any social distancing measures, with a number of experts questioning the effectiveness of the government’s ‘herd-immunity’ approach.

Looking ahead, the publication of the UK’s latest jobs report could offer the Pound modest support today if wage growth rose as expected in January, although any upside is likely to prove limited amid the ongoing focus on the coronavirus.

Euro (EUR) Muted as EU to Restrict Travel

The Euro (EUR) was left mostly directionless on Monday as EU governments introduced even more drastic measures in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

This includes the EU’s plan to ban all non-essential travel throughout Europe’s Schengen free-travel zone, which is expected to be implemented later today.

Coming up, it’s likely the Euro could take a hit this morning as the latest ZEW surveys are expected to report a sharp deterioration in economic sentiment in Germany and the wider Eurozone this month in light of the coronavirus crisis.

US Dollar (USD) Fluctuates Following Fed Rate Cut

The US Dollar (USD) initially tumbled at the start of this week’s session, retreating in response to the Federal Reserve slashing interest rates to near zero in the bank’s second emergency rate cut in as many weeks.

However, the ‘Greenback’ didn’t remain in the doldrums for long as another market sell-off saw investors flock back to the safe-haven currency.

Expect to see the US Dollar maintain its upward trajectory today unless there’s a surprise drop in this afternoon’s US retail sales figures.

Canadian Dollar (CAD) Tumbles on Falling Oil Prices

The Canadian Dollar (CAD) came under pressure on Monday as WTI crude prices slipped over 10% after a number of airlines announced they would be ground the majority of their fleets, further fuelling concerns of a slowdown in global oil demand.

Australian Dollar (AUD) Slips in Risk-Off Trade

The Australian Dollar (AUD) fell victim to some risk-off trade overnight on Monday, with investors steering clear of the ‘Aussie’ as coronavirus fears weighed on market sentiment.

New Zealand Dollar (NZD) Bounces as New Zealand Launches New Stimulus Package

The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) was offered some support overnight after New Zealand’s government announced it would be launching a stimulus package equivalent to 4% of GDP in order to offset the impact of the coronavirus.

Data Releases

00:30 AUD RBA Minutes

09:30 GBP Unemployment Rate (Jan)

09:30 GBP Wage Growth (Jan)

10:00 EUR ZEW Economic Sentiment Index (Mar)

13:15 USD Retail Sales (Feb)

15:30 NZD Global Dairy Auction

Matthew Andrews

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