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US Dollar Rallies As Market Turmoil Spurs Safe-Haven Demand

February 28, 2020 at 15:50 by Andrew Moran

Many different USD notes as a backgroundThe US dollar is rallying against several major currency rivals at the end of the trading week, driven by the financial market turmoil that has spurred safe-haven demand for the greenback. While the global coronavirus outbreak has dominated the business headlines, positive economic data is adding to the buck’s gains on Friday.

In January, personal income rose 0.6%, up from the 0.1% gain in December. Personal spending slipped 0.2% last month, down from the 0.4% jump in December. Consumption of non-durable goods slipped 0.2%, while consumption of services slowed to 0.3%.

Last month, wholesale inventories tumbled 0.2%, up from the 0.3% decline in December.

Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index edged up 0.1%, while the core PCE price index picked up 0.1%.

The University of Michigan also released its final readings for February: consumer expectations rose from 90.5 to 92.1, current economic conditions came in at 114.8, consumer sentiment reached 101, and inflation expectations dipped to 2.4%.

To finish out the trading week, global financial markets are recording steep losses for the fifth straight session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 900 points, adding to its weekly decline of more than 4,000 points. The S&P 500 dropped 107 points, and the Nasdaq plunged 250 points. Asian and European markets also plunged triple digits on Friday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) spooked investors even further as it raised the global threat assessment to “very high.” This came after it was reported that Nigeria and Mexico confirmed their first cases of the virus, exacerbating fears that the outbreak would spread throughout the fragile continents.

Amid the chaos unfolding in equities, traders are ostensibly seeking refuge in the greenback. The US Dollar Index, which measures the buck against a basket of currencies, edged up 0.05% to 98.56. Despite the market crash and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, it was not enough to give the dollar a weekly gain as it is poised for a weekly loss of 0.7%.

The USD/CAD currency pair rose 0.32% to 1.3436, from an opening of 1.3392, at 14:38 GMT on Friday. The EUR/USD decreased 0.3% to 1.0969, from an opening of 1.1001.

If you have any questions, comments, or opinions regarding the US Dollar, feel free to post them using the commentary form below.

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