Though currently lower, the US Dollar is still poised to end the week on a positive note against the Japanese Yen, likely recording the best week’s close since March. News of a vaccine to fight the Coronavirus helped to shift sentiment away from the safe haven currencies, although analysts point out that gains are certain to be limited given the surging numbers in much of the US and Europe. Given the shift in sentiment, currency-linked asserts including the New Zealand and Australian Dollars came under pressure, while the Pound Sterling traded close to a 1-week low against the the greenback, with disappointing GDP data impacting the currency.
In Tokyo trading, as of 10:46 am, the USD/JPY was trading at 104.8750 Yen, down 0.21% and moving away from the session peak of 105.194 Yen. The NZD/USD was higher at $0.6831, up 0.0425%, while the AUD/USD was higher at $0.7231, a gain of 0.0249%. The GBP/USD was higher at $1.3123, a gain of 0.0519%; the pair has ranged from a low of $1.31088 to a peak of $1.31397 in today’s session.
Data Dismal as Forecast by Central Banks
Yesterday, the Office of National Statistics in the UK reported that preliminary 3rd quarter GDP (annualized) came in at 15.5%, against analysts forecasts of an improvement to 15.8% (from the previous -19.8%). Manufacturing and industrial production for the month of September, on a month-over-month basis, also missed forecasts at 0.2% and 0.5%, respectively; analysts had predicted an improvement in the numbers to 1% and 0.8%. The heads of the ECB, BoE and Federal Reserve also met on Thursday in a panel discussion. Though Christine Lagarde, Andrew Bailey and Jerome Powell were all optimistic about the prospect of a Covid-19 vaccine, they all acknowledged that there was still a long way to go before economies could be turned around.