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Aussie Weak amid Lockdown, QE Bond Buying

March 23, 2020 at 10:24 by Vladimir Vyun

An AUD100 bill with Nellie MelbaThe Australian dollar was among the weakest currencies on the Forex market together with its commodity-related counterparts today due to coronavirus panic that makes investors seek safer options. While it has trimmed its losses by now, the Aussie is still trading below the opening level against the majority of most-traded currencies.

The Australian government announced lockdown to limit the spread of COVID-19, shutting down non-essential services. That includes pubs, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, and places of worship. Restaurants will have to switch to takeaway only. Some regions of Australia announced even tighter restrictions, closing their borders starting from Tuesday. So far, 1,642 of confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported across Australia, though fortunately, the death toll remained low at 7.

Last Thursday, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates and announced a quantitative easing program. Under this program, the central bank bought A$4 billion in local government bonds today.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced earlier on Sunday a second stimulus package worth A$66 billion.

Markit will release its flash report on manufacturing and services PMIs at 22:00 GMT today. While economic reports currently tend to have a limited impact on markets, the Markit releases will show the situation in the Australian economy after the coronavirus outbreak happened. Therefore, they may reveal how strongly the pandemic affected the economy.

AUD/USD dropped from 0.5802 to 0.5740 as of 10:23 GMT today, touching the low of 0.5700 intraday. EUR/AUD rose from 1.8407 to 1.8591, while its session maximum was at 1.8747. AUD/JPY fell from 64.29 to 63.53, reaching the low of 62.91 during the session.

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

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