The risk-off sentiment remained the underlying theme in Asia this Thursday, as the market mood was fragile amid intensifying coronavirus spread on both sides of the Atlantic. Therefore, the US economic aid package passed by the Senate failed to lift the sentiment, with the Asian stocks a mixed bag while the US equity futures dropped along with the Treasury yields. Gold prices failed to take advantage and meandered in lows near $1620.
The US dollar remained under pressure across the board amid easing funding stress on the US fiscal and monetary measures. USD/JPY slipped below 111.00 amid widespread risk aversion while the Aussie attempted a recovery above 0.5900 following a sharp drop in early Asia. The Kiwi also recovered some ground above 0.58 but wasn’t out of the woods yet. Meanwhile, USD/CAD bounced to 1.4270 amid oil-price sell-off.
EUR/USD benefited the most from broad US dollar weakness amid some positive news coming out Italy. The cable, on the other hand, traded weaker below 1.1900 amid a solid surge in the number of new infections in the UK.
Main topics in Asia
Key focus ahead
On the data front, the immediate focus remains on the February UK Retail Sales data, due at 0700 GMT, alongside the release of the German Gfk Consumer Confidence Survey for April. Later in the European session, the Eurozone credit supply data and the European Central Bank (ECB) Economic Bulletin will be eyed for fresh trading incentives.
The Bank of England (BOE) monetary policy decision will hog the limelight, especially after the two emergency rate cuts announced already this month. The announcement will be out at 1200 GMT.
Next of note remains the US Jobless Claims data, at 1230 GMT, amidst the coronavirus outbreak-led economic disruption. Also, the US Q4 GDP and Trade Balance data will be eyed among other reports.
Apart from the data, the coronavirus updates will continue to play a pivotal role in influencing the broad market sentiment, as most governments are struggling hard to contain the virus spread.
EUR/USD crossed above 1.09 on the back of broad-based US dollar weakness. Markets offered greenback, possibly in hopes of the US fiscal stimulus. Markets brace for the US jobless claims with talk it could exceed 1 million.
With the pandemic fears probing buyers, GBP/USD stays under pressure below 1.1900 while heading into the London open. Not only coronavirus (COVID-19) fears, but the cautious sentiment ahead of BOE also tames the quote’s moves.
Claims expected to be the highest in the series 53-year history. Estimates for initial jobless benefits range from 1 million to 4 million. Previous highs were 695,000 in October 1982 and 665,000 in March 2009.
The leaders of the G20 nations hold talks via video conference later today to discuss on the coronavirus pandemic.