Dollar Up, Boosted by Ever-Rising COVID-19 Numbers and Souring U.S-China Relations
The dollar was up on Friday morning in Asia, with investors turning to the safe-haven asset as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to be smash records.
The U.S. recorded at least 75,000 cases over a 24-hour period on Thursday, and Brazil surpassed the 2 million mark the same day. The surging number of cases prompted investor fears over the global economic recovery, with more states re-implementing lockdowns.
There are over 13.7 million cases globally as of July 17, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
With some U.S. COVID-19 stimulus measures due to expire at the end of July, the U.S. Congress is scheduled to debate further measures the following week. Investors will be watching to see how what measures will be passed to prop up the world’s largest economy against COVID-19’s impact.
The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was up 0.01% to 96.278.
The USD/JPY pair remained flat at 107.25.
The USD/CNY pair was up 0.22% gain of 7.0032. The U.S. is considering banning all members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families from traveling to the U.S., reversing President Donald Trump’s move on Wednesday to halt further sanctions.
The past week has not been a good one for U.S.-China relations, with the U.S. disputing Chinese claims in the South China Sea and Trump removing Hong Kong’s special trade status as well as approving initial sanctions against Chinese entities involved in enacting Hong Kong’s national security laws. The latest move soured relations between the two countries even further, giving the dollar a further boost.
The AUD/USD pair was up 0.19% to 0.6983 and the NZD/USD pair gained 0.15% to 0.6543. Both Antipodean risk currencies benefitted from investors’ increased risk appetite.
The GBP/USD pair gained 0.09% to 1.2561.