The dollar slipped on Tuesday and the Australian dollar led a rally in riskier currencies as China’s trade data painted a less gloomy picture of the coronavirus’ economic fallout than markets had feared.
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Daily fatalities in the United States also fell sharply and states began plans to re-open their economies.
The Australian dollar <AUD=D3> rose 0.7% to $0.6432, the New Zealand dollar <NZD=D3> firmed 0.6% to $0.6131 and the pound <GBP=> added 0.4% to $1.2562 – their strongest since mid-March.
“The market is front-running the idea that we’re going to see the case count dissipate,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Melbourne brokerage Pepperstone.
“The baton is now being firmly handed over to the reality of the situation in economic data,” he said, calling the Chinese figures “way better” than expected.
The positive mood was reflected in equity market gains in Asia, yet trepidation kept a cap on further rises in currencies. [MKTS/GLOB]
Gold <XAU=> and the safe-havens of the Japanese yen and Swiss franc also rose, in a nod to the underlying caution.
The yen <JPY=> held at 107.70 per dollar, a fraction softer than a two-week peak hit on Monday. The euro <EUR=> recouped overnight losses to $1.0939. The Chinese yuan <CNY=> firmed 0.1% to 7.0428 per dollar. [CNY/]
Against a basket of currencies <=USD>, the dollar was 0.2% weaker at 99.195.
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