At the beginning of the new trading week, markets finally enjoy some risk-on as the number of coronavirus deaths in the most affected countries such as the US, Italy, Spain and South Korea reduced. Moreover, Italy prepares to start lifting lockdown from mid-May. The news brought some relief to traders and raised the US equity futures while safe-havens lost its traction and came under pressure.
The US Dollar left behind eight-day highs however still stays above the mid-100.00 region on Trump’s comments that the situation in the hottest coronavirus spots is improving. EUR/USD attempts to go further north above 1.0800, USD/JPY pierced the 109.00 mark and now tries to take a foothold here. The Aussie rallied and challenged the 0.6050 mark while the Kiwi bounced back towards 0.5900.
The GBP/USD pair was weighed by the news of PM Boris Johnson’s admission to the hospital for some additional coronavirus tests. However, the statement from Downing Street said that it was not an emergency hospitalization and Boris was sent for some examinations at his doctor’s advice. He still exercises his duties as the head of the British government but the coronavirus meeting scheduled on Friday morning will be presided by Dominic Raab. These more or less positive headlines helped the major to edge higher towards the 1.2290 mark.
Another issue that drew the markets’ attention was oil. WTI opened the week with a bearish gap of 10% falling from Friday’s close at 28.97 to 25.98 amid the postponement of the OPEC+ meeting from 6 to 9 April. However, traders believe that OPEC members will manage to come to a deal on the production cuts and thus wait for further strengthening in oil prices especially with Russia agreeing to take part in the conference.
On Sunday, during his address in the White House, the US President Trump warned that he would impose ‘substantive’ tariffs on oil imports from Saudi and Russia if the situation with prices didn’t change. He then added that he probably wouldn’t need to resort to such measures as neither Riyadh nor Moscow benefitted from the current oil conflict. That somehow encouraged bulls however oil continues to sit in the red.
Amid an empty economic calendar today, markets will watch for coronavirus headlines as well as oil news and Trump’s comments on the issue.