The Australian dollar lowered by 0.4% to $0.6293 on Thursday, reversing earlier gains. The New Zealand dollar also fell by 0.6% to $0.5961 after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Adrian Orr said that they still contemplated negative interest rates.
The oil prices collapsed, and oil-producing countries’ currencies fell along with it. The Canadian dollar dropped down by C$1.4116 per U.S. dollar. The Bank of Canada has increased the suite of assets it is purchasing to weaken the blow from the pandemic. The Mexican peso also tumbled down by 1.7% to 24.4030 to the dollar.
What about the U.S. dollar and European currencies?
The U.S. dollar hit high after the dire retail, and factory data showed the severity of the crisis caused by coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. According to new data, retail sales fell 8.7% in March. Its the biggest decline since tracking began in 1992.
More than two-thirds of the U.S. economic activity comes from consumer spending, but due to the lockdowns, the numbers are low. Investors fear that damage to the economy from the pandemic will be deep and protracted.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s separate report also showed that manufacturing output dropped by 6.3% last month, the biggest decrease since February 1946.
The analysts hoped that epidemy was nearing its peak, and many developed countries were planning to re-open their economies as soon as next month. However, the situation seems more severe then they anticipated.
The traders returned the safe-haven currencies due to the uncertainty. The U.S. dollar increased by 0.2% to 99.831 against a basket of six other major currencies on Thursday. It also climbed up by 0.4% to 107.86 yen.
The euro, on the other hand, fell by 0.25% to $1.0881, lowering from its two-week high of $1.0980. The British pound also reduced by 0.2% to $1.2482 after having lost nearly 1% during the previous session.
Kazushige Kaida, the head of foreign exchange at Tokyo Branch of State Street, noted that the dollar is maintaining its momentum following U.S. data yesterday so far.