Markets pause, mixed Covid news, Lunar New Year in Asia
Financial markets took a breather after a week that saw many stock markets around the world reach record highs. News that Covid-19 vaccines are being deployed to millions was countered by reports of rising cases of virus variants, which may lead to prolonged lockdowns and delays in economic recovery. The dollar gained overnight, reversing a five-day sell-off, and oil and gold were lower. Trading was light amid Lunar New Year celebrations in Asia, and ahead of President’s Day on Monday, when US financial markets will be closed. FX markets will be open.
February 12, 2021
EUR/USD 1.2094 GBP/USD 1.3828 USD/CAD 1.2733 AUD/USD 0.7731 USD/JPY 105.08 USD/CNH 6.428 USD/ILS 3.2532 USD/MXN 20.0583 USD/CHF 0.8933 USD/INR 72.7550 USD/BRL 5.3770 USD/SGD 1.3272 USD/DKK 6.1493 USD/SEK 8.3365 USD/NOK 8.4986
The US dollar is broadly higher, reversing a five-day sell-off. Currency traders are taking short-term profits on ‘short’ positions in quiet markets amid Lunar New Year and Monday’s President Day. Traders await this morning’s University of Michigan economic releases for February, which are expected to be an improvement over January.GBP
The UK pound is slightly lower, as traders digest mixed economic releases this morning. While UK’s Q4 GDP QoQ at 1% was better than expected, Industrial Production and Construction Output for December were both worse than expected.EUR
The euro is lower by nearly 0.4% in-line with the broadly stronger US dollar. Mario Draghi, the former president of the European Central Bank, will be named Italy’s prime minister after he received support to form a new government from the key Italian parties. Italy is the EU’s third biggest economy after Germany and France.CAD
The Canadian dollar is lower by nearly 0.4%, in-line with the broadly stronger US dollar and as oil prices fell for the second day. Canada’s Wholesale Trade Sales for December, reported this morning, were better than expected.ASIA/PACIFIC
Amid the Chinese Lunar New Year, trading in Asian currencies was light. Currency traders were sellers of the offshore Chinese yuan (CNH), following a two-week rally in the currency.
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