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Forex – Dollar in Demand as Safe Haven

2 Mins read
imageForexMar 19, 2020 04:13AM ET

(C) Reuters.

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar has continued to push higher Thursday, as investors look for a safe haven amid periods of wild financial market volatility and worries over tightening liquidity.

At 04:20 ET (0820 GMT), EUR/USD traded at 1.0852, down 0.6%. The U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, stood at 101.930 up 0.4%, and just off its highest level since the end of 2016. USD/JPY rose 1% to 109.14, while GBP/USD traded at 1.1515, down 0.8%, and just off levels not seen since 1985.

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar skidded to a 17-year low, the New Zealand dollar fell to an 11-year low, while the Norwegian kroner fell over 5% overnight as oil prices crashed.

The move by the European Central Bank to launch a 750 billion euro ($815 billion) asset-purchase program in response to the coronavirus outbreak helped the single currency initially, but even this was eventually overwhelmed by the move into the dollar.

“The chief thing we are looking at over the coming days,” said John Hardy, Head of FX Strategy at Saxo Bank Group, “besides a general turn in sentiment, is the US dollar and whether it is once again transforming into the killer dollar that is rising across the board rather than merely against the riskier currencies that are all victims of the general deleveraging.”

Of interest later Thursday will be the latest meeting from South Africa’s central bank. It is widely expected to cut rates given an economy that slumped into a recession even before the coronavirus intensified.

Of 21 economists in a Bloomberg survey, 11 predict a 50 basis-point reduction, while the balance expect the rate to be lowered by 25 basis points.

The Swiss National Bank is also set to meet Thursday but it expected to buck the trend and avoid cutting its interest rates, which are already deep in negative territory, to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, a Reuters poll found.

At 04:20 ET (0820 GMT), USD/CHF traded at 0.9719, up 0.4%, while USD/ZAR stood at 17.38, up 1.8%.

Forex – Dollar in Demand as Safe Haven

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