Forex Today: Dollar licking its wounds, gold shines, US coronavirus cases eyed after Trump’s U-turn

Here is what you need to know on Wednesday, July 22:

The US dollar is licking its wounds, precious metals are holding their massive gains while stocks are stable. Markets have been encouraged by the EU recovery accord, vaccine hopes, and progress on the US fiscal stimulus. Updated COVID-19 statistics and US politics are of interest.

The dollar is attempting to stabilize after tumbling on Tuesday, decoupling from stocks that only marginally edged higher. There are several factors behind teh dollar’s weakness.

EUR/USD surged to 1.1547, the highest since January 2019, after the EU agreed on €750 billion recovery fund. While several market participants criticized the compromise, others praised leaders, which also moved the seven-year EU budget forward.

Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, is set to speak later in the day. She will likely comment on the agreement that she had urged.

Earlier in the week, several companies such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Synairgen reported progress on developing a vaccine or a cure to coronavirus, boosting markets.

Vaccine concerns: On the other hand, research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown that COVID-19 patients that developed antibodies saw them diminishing within an average of 73 days, raising concerns about the viability of immunization. On the other hand, T-cells may last longer and mitigate the disease.

Gold has been extending its rapid gains, hitting a near nine-year high at $1,865 before consolidating some of its gains. Bullish comments from Citi , monetary and fiscal stimulus have been underpinning the increase.

Silver prices also shot to the highest since 2013 around $22, also buoyed by potential demand from the solar industry. Silver trading was halted in Shanghai.

Fiscal stimulus hopes: US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have been leading intense talks in Washington over the next fiscal stimulus bill and both expressed optimism on striking an accord. Federal unemployment benefits expire at the end of the month. Talks continue on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump made an abrupt U-turn on coronavirus, saying that the situation will get worse before it gets better and urging fellow Americans to wear masks. In his first press conference on the topic in months, he acknowledged that some areas in the US are suffering more than others and refrained from repeating his claims that it will “just disappear.”

US daily COVID-19 deaths surpassed 1,000, the highest since early June. Total mortalities surpassed 142,000 and cases are above 3.9 million. Figures for weekdays are higher than those over the weekend. Updates from Florida, Texas, California, and other states are eyed.

The US House Price Index and Existing Home Sales are of interest. The housing sector has been holding up amid the coronavirus crisis:

See US Existing Home Sales June Preview:  Old news on jobs and confidence

GBP/USD is trading above 1.27, carried higher by the greenback’s weakness and despite rising tensions between the UK and China over Hong Kong and Huawei. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised Britain’s tough stance while visiting London.

Brexit: THe Telegraph has reported that the UK is close to abandoning talks amid the impasse in talks with the EU. Negotiations continue with many expecting a breakthrough only closer to year-end when the transition period expires.

Australian preliminary retail sales rose by 2.4% in June, lower than in May but up 8.2% on the year. AUD/USD is trading well above 0.7140, mostly benefiting from the risk-on mood and dismissing the ongoing lockdown in Melbourne where the number of cases remains stubbornly high.

USD/CAD is trading around 1.3450 amid the risk-on mood and despite disappointing Canadian retail sales figures, which bounced by 18.7% in May, lower than expected. Inflation figures are due out on Wednesday.

USD/JPY is trading just below 107 as the dollar retreats. Coronavirus cases remain elevated in Tokyo and local authorities are considering new steps. Infections are on the rise also in Hong Kong, albeit from a low level. New measures are planned in the city-state.

WTI oil is trading above $41, close to the recent four-month highs, as OPEC+ continue depressing oil output.

Cryptocurrencies have been consolidating their gains with Bitcoin holding up near $9,400.


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