Australian Dollar US Dollar (AUD/USD) Exchange Rate Muted as Italy and Spain Record New Coronavirus Cases
The Australian Dollar US Dollar (AUD/USD) exchange rate remained largely flat this morning. This left the pairing trading at around $0.6222.
The Australian Dollar edged slightly lower on Thursday, but remained near its highest level since mid-March.
Early on Thursday, the Dollar index remained flat, although traded -0.6% lower this week as risk appetite rebounded.
Traders moved away from the safe-haven US Dollar as hopes Europe and the US could see the light at the end of the tunnel boosted sentiment.
Commenting on this, Tohru Sasaki, head of Japan market research at JPMorgan said:
‘New York reported its biggest death toll while infections hit the highest level in four days in Spain and three days in Italy. All these are negative but forecasts both from governments and experts that the peak could come within days are leading markets not to focus on those details.’
However, the ‘Aussie’ remained under pressure as both Italy and Spain reported a rise in new infections. This cast doubt on an earlier end to lockdowns and dampened risk appetite.
Fed Concerned About Economic Impact of Coronavirus
Meanwhile, the US Dollar (USD) remained under pressure today following last night’s release of the Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes.
The Fed decided in last month’s emergency meeting that they wanted to take interest rates close to zero and would likely leave them there.
The minutes revealed the bank was concerned about the economic impact of the coronavirus. The minutes revealed:
‘All participants viewed the near-term U.S. economic outlook as having deteriorated sharply in recent weeks and as having become profoundly uncertain.’
Head of Americas fundamental fixed income for asset management giant BlackRock, Bob Miller noted the minutes suggest the Fed is taking a ‘whatever it takes’ approach. He added:
‘We expect the FOMC will do what is necessary to maintain accommodative financial conditions for the balance of this year. This includes the purchase of U.S. Treasuries in the amounts needed to prevent any meaningful backup in yields from the coming Treasury issuance.’
Australian Dollar US Dollar Outlook: US Jobless Claims Data in Focus
Looking ahead to this afternoon, the US Dollar (USD) could make some gains against the Australian Dollar (AUD). Traders will be focused on today’s US initial jobless claims data which is likely to see another jump in the number of claims.
Forecasts suggest there will be around 5.25 million new claims after close to 10 million claims over the past two weeks.
According to Tohru Sasaki, head of Japan market research at JPMorgan:
‘Markets already know that the economy is being hit by extraordinary shocks. Even if the number increases, it will probably surprise few people while a better reading could enhance the perception that the worst may be over and trigger a bigger market reaction.’
The risk-sensitive ‘Aussie’ also received a boost today following reports that major oil-producing countries could agree to cut output.
If today’s video conference sees OPEC and its allies agree to output cuts, it could boost risk appetite. However, disappointing US employment statistics could leave the Australian Dollar US Dollar (AUD/USD) exchange rate largely flat.