Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Asian currencies arrest slide as WHO confident in virus response

ForexJan 30, 2020 09:06PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items

By Tom Westbrook

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Asian currencies arrested their slide on Friday as confidence from the World Health Organization in China's response to a new virus and upbeat data from the world's second biggest economy tempered worries over a jump in new infections.

The WHO said late Thursday the outbreak was a global emergency, but China's response so far will "reverse the tide" of the virus' spread.

Together with official data showing Chinese services activity picking up this month, that was enough to pause selling from investors who are waiting for more information about the virus to judge its likely human and economic costs.

The death toll in China has now reached 213 and the number of cases is 9,692 - up from 7,711 a day ago.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars, which dipped on the news of rising deaths, recovered after the services data to hold steady. China's yuan was little moved at 6.9793 per dollar.

The Antipodean currencies have been pounded in recent weeks as investors pour out of assets exposed to the virus' fallout in China.

The Aussie is 4.1% weaker this month and, if the selldown does not reverse, is headed for its worst month since May 2016.

"Aussie and kiwi are what I've called the whipping boys, if you like, for expressing concern about the spreading of the virus and its potential global economic ramifications," said Ray Attrill, Head of FX Strategy at National Australia Bank.

Some 60 million people in the epicenter of the outbreak, Hubei province, are living under virtual lockdown. Several global airlines have stopped flying to mainland China and economists are slashing their forecasts for Chinese growth.

The yen and dollar have been beneficiaries of the resulting flight to safety.

The yen was steady at 109.00 per dollar and the greenback stable at $1.1030 per euro (EUR=EBS) in morning trade.

Against the Australian dollar, the yen has added 3.2% in the 10 days since concerns about the virus began roiling markets (AUDJPY=). Against the Korean won, the yen has gained nearly 4% (KRWJPY=R).

In Thailand - heavily exposed to Chinese tourism - the baht, which has stubbornly resisted months of jawboning and policy easing from the central bank, has shed 4% for the month.

"The problem for markets is the inability to price risk because lack of certainty around this," said Chris Weston, Head of Research at Melbourne brokerage Pepperstone.

"We're probably going to hear a much clearer definition about how this is contained somewhere between the 3rd and 8th of February."

Separately, relief the Bank of England held rates steady sent the British pound up 0.7% to a week high. Britain's market watchdog, however, is investigating the move because it began just before the bank's announcement.

Asian currencies arrest slide as WHO confident in virus response

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Tar Jay
Tar Jay Jan 31, 2020 1:31AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
This is nonsense.  The WHO is freaking out, because there is ZERO containment.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email