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Aussie and Kiwi dollars lead gains; dollar falls

The U.S. dollar fell in overnight trading on Monday, edging away from last week’s two-and-a-half-week highs, while the riskier New Zealand and Australian dollars gained as fears of a second wave of COVID-19 did little to dampen investors’ risk appetite.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a record increase in global novel coronavirus cases on Sunday.

The rate of spread of the virus in Germany jumped over the weekend, raising the possibility of renewed restrictions on activity in Europe’s largest economy.

But markets took confidence from the containment of cases. The number of new cases in Beijing went down, as local authorities restrict the movement of people in the Chinese capital and step up other measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

The biggest rise in cases on Sunday was in North America and South America, the WHO said.

“FX markets start the week in quiet function and perhaps the challenge this week will be whether markets can take the daily swings in new U.S. virus cases in its stride,” wrote ING strategists in a note to clients.

Commodity currencies led the gains in early London trading on Monday, with the New Zealand dollar hitting a session high of 0.6439, up around 0.5% on the day NZD=D3.

The Australian dollar was up 0.5% at 0.6865 AUD=D3, benefiting from comments by the head of the country’s central bank that the currency’s recent rise was not a problem and that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would not be as bad as first feared.

Against a basket of currencies =USD, the U.S. dollar fell gradually in overnight trading but recovered some losses in upticks around 0530 GMT and 0700 GMT. It was at 97.452 at 0735 GMT, down 0.2% on the day.

A global crunch for U.S. dollars that was a hallmark of the early moments of the coronavirus crisis appears to have passed, showed data from the Federal Reserve last week.

Dollar short positions increased in the week to June 16th, according to weekly futures data, indicating broader market optimism about an economic recovery.

The safe-harbour yen was little changed, at 106.92 per U.S. dollar, not far from a one-month high of 106.58 hit earlier in June JPY=EBS.

The euro was up 0.2% versus the dollar, at 1.1201, edging away from recent two-and-a-half-week lows EUR=EBS.

E.U. leaders agreed on Friday that urgent action was needed to haul their coronavirus-hit economies from the deepest recession since World War Two, but made no progress on a massive stimulus plan that has divided them for weeks.

Speculative long positions on the euro are at their highest since May 2018 1099741NNET.

Manufacturing, services and composite PMI data for June are due on Tuesday for countries including Australia, Japan, France, Germany, Britain, the United States and the euro zone.

“Given these are diffusion indices and simply reflect whether conditions are getting better or worse then surely at some point soon these numbers are going to massively spike up regardless of the actual level of growth,” wrote Jim Reid, multi-asset research strategist at Deutsche Bank.

Germany’s economy had passed the worst of the crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak and was now expected to recover gradually, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung on Sunday.

Source:Reuters

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