The Japanese yen fell against the U.S. dollar and several other currencies after Japanese media reported Prime Minister Shinzo Abe might declare a state of emergency on Tuesday to fight the rapidly spreading coronavirus.
The yen lowered by 0.4% to 108.93 against the dollar. It also dropped down against the euro, the Australian dollar, and the New Zealand dollar.
While the coronavirus cases in Japan may not peak for another month, a state of emergency is necessary. But analysts caution that this could be bad for the yen. The Japanese currency may decline further in the coming days. According to reports, Abe will announce his plans to declare the emergency today.
The chinese yuan, on the other hand, was steady at 7.1134 per dollar in the offshore market. The mainland reported only 39 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, and all of them except one were imported. China’s mainland markets are closed for a public holiday today.
Meanwhile, the dollar eased slightly after the recent rally. It lowered to $1.0814 per euro but held steady at 0.9769 Swiss franc. Sentiment for the dollar remains fragile after a set of data last week showed U.S. job losses skyrocketing as the measures to fight the virus hurt factory activity and consumer spending.
Several currencies still fell against the dollar. The rouble lowered by about 1% versus the U.S. currency, while the Mexican peso dropped by 1.6%. The Norwegian crown also declined by more than 0.3% against the greenback.
How does the Sterling fare?
The pound also fell against the U.S. dollar, as did the euro on Monday, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital after showing persistent symptoms of the virus. Britain’s constitution offers no formal deputy or caretaker who would take over if Johnson cannot continue to lead, which causes investors to worry.
As a result, the sterling lowered by 0.26% to $1.2242 on Monday in Asia, and it dropped by 0.27% to 88.39 pence against the euro.