Safe-haven dollar buying is the only trade for many investors as two weeks of US unemployment claims hit 10,000,000

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A shocking report on new US unemployment claims drove FX traders to bid up the US dollar. Although the job losses are massive, and will continue to pile up, many investors consider the US dollar to be the best place to park cash. The price of oil spiked 10% to $22/bbl. after China said they will buy for their strategic reserves. The Canadian dollar and other commodity currencies saw a temporary spike.


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  • FX Rates
    April 2, 2020

    Rates are not real time. Rates are today's indicative mid-market rates as of time of publishing, which may vary. Please contact SVB for a current quote.


  • USD

    The dollar is stronger again today as indications of COVID’s impact hit economic data. New claims for unemployment totaled 6.6M.  More are expected in the next few weeks. Many consider most unemployment claims to be temporary with companies hiring back former employees as soon as the isolation and containment measures are lifted.

    Durable goods orders data due later this morning is considered to be for a period of time prior to impact of COVID.

    GBP

    The British pound has held up vs. the US dollar and the euro over the past week. FX traders saw last week’s slide to the $1.16 level as having gone too far. Investors see the UK economy and employment laws nimbler and expect a quicker recovery from COVID-related shock as compared to the European Continent.

    EUR

    The euro weakened mostly on overall dollar strength but also lost ground relative to the British pound. Producer prices in the eurozone fell -1.3%, worse than expected (-0.8%).

    CAD

    The Canadian dollar initially strengthened after the price of oil spiked up 10% following news China will begin buying oil to fill their strategic oil reserve. The currency gave back much of the gains as the $2/bbl increase to $22 does little for oil producers who are used to $40-$60bbl prices.

    ASIA/PACIFIC

    The Chinese renminbi weakened again on investors increasing concern over global trade as many of Chinese export markets are shutting down. Chinese authorities have been setting the daily FX rate weaker each day for the past 7 days.
    The Japanese yen bounced off the 1.07 resistance level as dollar strength prevailed. Japan has yet to call a national emergency due to COVID and some FX traders are speculating more serious economic containment measures will be required shortly.

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Peter Compton
WRITTEN BY
Peter Compton

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