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By: Stuart Cowell
The Yen remained soft while the Dollar bloc currencies extended recent gains as risk appetite in global markets held up, with a reported dip in new coronavirus (now Covid-19)cases in China being tonic for investors. Wall Street yesterday saw fresh record highs, while the MSCI Asia-Pacific equity index rose by another 1% today. USDJPY lifted through 110.00 to 110.13 and above Tuesday’s high at 109.96. AUDJPY, now in its third consecutive day of ascent, carved out a five-day high at 74.23 , stalling at R2. AUDUSD and NZDUSD lifted to respective a six-day highs, at 0.6737 and 0.6476, while USDCAD fell to a six-day low at 1.3272. The RBNZ left policy on hold following a board meeting today, and also removed guidance for more rate cuts, saying that only a longer than currently anticipated impact from the Covid-19 outbreak would warrant any further easing. New Zealand also has an election this November. Governor Orr is due to testify later today (19:10 GMT) on today’s MPC statement before Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.
Elsewhere, EURUSD looks to have found a footing after a run of seven consecutive down days, steadying so far today around 1.0900-1.0925, above the four-month low that was printed at 1.0891. Cable edged out a six-day high at 1.2969, surpassing yesterday’s high by a pip, while EURGBP ebbed to a nine-day low at 0.8413. The Pound is amid a phase of modest outperformance, with available January data out of the UK have shown a rebound in economic activity as the fog of political uncertainty cleared following the December general election, while Prime Minister Johnson announcing big plans for infrastructure projects. These have helped quell, for now, concerns about Brexit and divergence from the EU.
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