Coronavirus panic & collapse in oil prices prompt market chaos

  • Coronavirus panic and collapse in oil prices prompt market chaos

     

    Coronavirus headlines have dominated market sentiment in recent weeks, resulting in some significant volatility in currency markets.

    Over this period we’ve seen GBP/EUR slump from 1.19 to 1.15 and EUR/GBP accelerate to 0.87.

    Meanwhile, GBP/USD has climbed from 1.29 and 1.30, whilst EUR/USD has surged from 1.08 to 1.13.

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    What’s been happening? 

    The pound has been putting on a mixed performance in recent weeks as the UK government’s threat to walk away from trade talks with the EU by June reignited Brexit uncertainty.

    The US dollar, meanwhile, has faced significant headwinds as concerns over the coronavirus saw the Federal Reserve implement an emergency rate cut at the start of March and drove speculation the Fed could cut rates close to zero in its next policy meeting.

    Meanwhile, this slump in the US dollar has helped to buoy demand for the euro, which has been on an uptrend in spite of growing worries that coronavirus disruption will see parts of the Eurozone slip into a recession.

    What do you need to look out for? 

    The coronavirus will undoubtedly continue to dominate market sentiment in the weeks to come, as will the response by central banks and governments.

    In the UK this could prompt the Bank of England (BoE) to cut interest rates at its next policy meeting on the 26 March.

    With the European Central Bank (ECB) running out of monetary firepower, the focus for EUR investors will instead be on Eurozone governments and their plans for fiscal stimulus.

    Meanwhile, USD investors will keep a close eye on the outbreak of the coronavirus in the US amid concerns the spread of the disease is far greater than current figures suggest.

     

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