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Forex - Yuan Drops Amid Virus Concerns; Yen Rises

Forex Jan 21, 2020 12:55AM ET
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© Reuters.

By Alex Ho

Investing.com - The Chinese yuan slid on Tuesday in Asia as authorities confirmed a new virus can be passed form person-to-person.

The USD/JPY pair lost 0.2% to 109.96 as Asian markets traded lower. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) kept rates unchanged, but took a brighter view of the economy

The BOJ raised its growth projections for the first time in a year. The central bank trimmed its inflation forecast at the same time.

The decision came ahead of meetings by the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve later this week and next.

The USD/CNY pair gained 0.4% to 6.8931 as a pneumonia-like virus in China continued to spread. China's National Health Commission on Monday confirmed that two cases of infection in China's Guangdong province were due to human-to-human transmission.

In a separate statement, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said at least 15 medical workers in Wuhan have also been infected with the virus, with one in a critical condition.

The news sent Chinese stocks down more than 1% while the yuan also fell. The outbreak of the disease came right before the Chinese New Year, which is a peak travel season, raising risks that the virus could spread further.

The AUD/USD pair traded 0.1% lower to 0.6862 amid concerns about the Chinese virus.

The U.S. dollar index was little changed at 97.335.

While not a major directional driver today, the International Monetary Fund predicted that global growth will be slower than previously expected.

The fund said growth will accelerate this year to 3.3% from 2.9% in 2019. That’s the first pickup in three years, but less than the 3.4% projected in October.

Forex - Yuan Drops Amid Virus Concerns; Yen Rises
 

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