Coronavirus poses a Major (currency) problem

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Is it just us or is 2020 hurtling by at an unbelievable pace? We’re already into the last week of May! Today, we’re going to see how the currency majors have fared this year, thus far. How has coronavirus impacted the cream of Forex’s crop? Once we’ve given some insights, we’ll drop all of the key trading events that you need to look out for this week into a nicely digestible bullet point list. Ready?

2020 so far, a tale of the Majors

Covid-19's effect on people, countries and industries is like nothing else in living memory. But how are the major currencies holding up? Let’s dig in…


01.01: 1 EUR = 1.1221 USD

22.05: 1 EUR = 1.0906 USD

Low: 1 EUR = 1.0906 USD

High: 1 EUR = 1.1555 USD

Percentage change (YTD): -2.81%

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Source: Yahoo Finance


01.01: 1 USD = 108.6800 JPY

22.05: 1 USD = 107.6000 JPY

Low: 1 USD = 103.1120 JPY

High: 1 USD = 111.9540 JPY

Percentage change (YTD): -0.99%

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Source: Yahoo Finance


01.01: 1 GBP = 1.3254 USD

22.05: 1 GBP = 1.2166 USD

Low: 1 GBP = 1.1494 USD

High: 1 GBP = 1.3182 USD

Percentage change (YTD): -8.21%

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Source: Yahoo Finance


01.01: 1 USD = 0.9673 CHF

22.05: 1 USD = 0.9709 CHF

Low: 1 USD = 0.9275 CHF

High: 1 USD = 0.9887 CHF

Percentage change: +0.37

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Source: Yahoo Finance


01.01: 1 AUD = 0.7015 USD

22.05: 1 AUD = 0.6538 USD

Low: 1 AUD = 0.5743 USD

High: 1 AUD = 0.7020

Percentage change (YTD): -6.8%

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Source: Yahoo Finance


01.01: 1 USD = 1.3002 CAD

22.05: 1 USD = 1.3994 CAD

Low: 1 USD = 1.2964 CAD

High: 1 USD = 1.4498 CAD

Percentage change (YTD): +7.63%

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Source: Yahoo Finance


01.01: 1 NZD = 0.6786 USD

22.05: 1 NZD = 0.6097 USD

Low: 1 NZD = 0.5626 USD

High: 1 NZD = 0.6786 USD

Percentage change (YTD): -10.15%

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Source: Yahoo Finance


Well, it’s not pretty reading, is it? Particularly for GBP/USD, AUD/USD, NZD/USD traders. To underline the enormity of it all, toward the end of March, GBP fell to a 35-year low against the US Dollar. Think of all the storms the Cable has weathered during that time. It’s quite unbelievable.

As can be seen, the currency markets have, on the whole, struggled to deal with the impact of the global pandemic on key economies.

Economic contractions usually happen pretty slowly, and we can (usually) see them coming from afar. The coronavirus pandemic, however, has forced economic activity to shut up shop and made it difficult to predict how the global economy will fare over the coming months. The unpredictable nature of the virus can be seen by the increase in volatility. Look at these charts, almost all of them show signs of irregular volatility.

Lockdowns have started easing and businesses are slowly open their doors again. It will be interesting to see how quickly the markets react to the global recovery, provided the second peak of infection is avoided and consumers get their mojo back.

You won’t want to take your eyes off the FX market over the next few months, that’s for sure!

This week’s market events

This week is going to be pretty quiet. Here’s everything you need to look out for.

● Tuesday’s US CB Consumer Confidence (USD) announcement will give us a good indication of just how confident US consumers are right now.

● Thursday will see the second estimate of the US’ GDP Growth Rate (QoQ) (USD).

● On Friday, we’ll hear the EU’s Core Inflation Rate YoY (EUR); Canada’s GDP growth rate (annualised + QoQ) (CAD); and finally, the US’ Core Personal Consumption Expenditure Price Index (YoY)(USD).

That’s your lot. These events may be few in number, but they all carry great importance, especially now. Don’t miss them!

We love researching, analysing and writing awesome content. If you think your traders might be interested speak to our team about our financial content solutions.

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The Contentworks team

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