Here is what you need to know on Wednesday, February 12:
The coronavirus outbreak’s death toll has topped 1,100 but markets remain calm and positive for another day. Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, has said that the bank is closely monitoring the virus. However, Powell also said that he does not see why the expansion cannot continue. He continues testifying today.
More: Chairman Powell in Congress: Back to basics
The US dollar is holding onto most of its gains against the euro and the yen while it is marginally lower against the pound. Gold is steady at around $1,565.
EUR/USD is hovering around 1.09 after nearing multi-year lows on Tuesday. Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, repeated her accommodative policy is needed. The bank will reportedly refrain from including house prices in its inflation calculations, implying lower rates for longer.
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, stated that it is still too early to assess the damage but that the economy recovered quickly from past pandemics. The UK economy stagnated in the fourth quarter of 2019 as expected.
Brexit: Michel Barnier, Chief EU Negotiators, said that the UK is “kidding” itself if it aims for permanent equivalence while setting its own rules. Both sides are digging in ahead of official talks on future relations next month.
The New Zealand dollar stands out with a near 1% rally after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand left rates unchanged at 1% and released forecasts pointing to no rate cuts down the line. The Australian dollar is edging up as well.
Oil prices are edging higher amid the general market optimism and despite a build in private inventories.
Cryptocurrencies are rallying with Bitcoin holding onto gains above $10,3000 and Ethereum joining in and nearing $250.