US national new coronavirus cases increased to near record highs and the US threatened fresh tariffs on EU exports.

Risk appetite was notably more fragile on Wednesday and dominated market moves with fears over coronavirus and trade developments. US national new coronavirus cases increased to near record highs and the US threatened fresh tariffs on EU exports.

The dollar secured renewed defensive support as risk appetite dipped with EUR/USD retreating to 1.1250. Sterling also lost ground against the dollar as weaker risk appetite undermined wider UK support.

Commodity currencies retreated sharply as risk appetite deteriorated with a Canadian credit rating cut also undermining CAD sentiment.

French June business confidence strengthened to 77 from 71 previously, although this was slightly below consensus forecasts.  The German June IFO business confidence index strengthened to 86.2 for June from 79.7 the previous month and above consensus forecasts of 85.0. There was a small improvement in the current conditions component and a stronger rebound in the expectations component to 91.4 from 80.5 previously.  IFO chief economist Wohlrabe stated that the economy has passed the trough and is on an upward path now. Conditions remain very tough in the engineering sector, but export expectations have improved significantly and there is likely to be growth of around 7% from the third quarter.

ECB chief economist Lane stated that evidence tilts towards asset purchases being the most efficient tool in current circumstances which suggests opposition to any further cut in interest rates.

After holding firm in early Europe, the Euro dipped lower ahead of the New York open as risk appetite deteriorated again. There were reports that the US was planning to impose tariffs on a further EUR3.1bn worth of goods which undermined sentiment and triggered a sharp decline in equity markets.

Markets continue to monitor progress towards a EU recovery fund with German Chancellor Merkel due to meet French President Macron next week.

US Chicago Fed President Evans stated that no-one at the Fed is thinking about negative interest rates which provided an element of dollar support and the US currency secured defensive demand as risk appetite deteriorated.

Equity markets moved lower and the dollar secured fresh support with EUR/USD dipping below the 1.1300 level. The US currency continued to gain ground in US trading with the commodity currencies retreating sharply and EUR/USD dipped to the 1.1250 area. The dollar maintained a firm overall tone on Thursday with the Euro marginally lower.

The dollar remained weak in early Europe on Wednesday, but managed to resist further losses. Risk appetite dipped sharply ahead of the New York open with a downbeat assessment of the global economy from the IMF adding to concerns triggered by the threat of increased US tariffs on EU exports. Although the yen gained an element of defensive support from weaker equity markets, the dollar drew support from wider gains with a USD/JPY advance to near 107.00 towards the European close.

The latest data for Florida recorded an increased in new infections of 5.3% compared with the 7-day average of 3.6%. According to the CDC, the number of new cases increased sharply by over 34,000 for the day from below 27,000 on Tuesday and close to record highs recorded for April 24th.

Wider US gains dominated with the USD/JPY just above the 107.00 level. Risk appetite remained fragile on Thursday with the US currency holding steady.

Markets remained uneasy over the risks posed by the UK government decision to ease leisure-sector lockdown measures from July 4th, especially as a group of medical experts warned over the threat of a second wave of infections. A weaker tone surrounding global risk appetite also had a notable impact undermining Sterling support.

There were negative comments from EU chief negotiator Barnier during the day who stated that the UK showed no willingness to engage in key areas despite EU efforts to make a number of openings. He also complained that the UK refused to commit to a level playing field, but requested the status of being very close to the EU single market in financial services. The two sides will also fail to finalise talks on financial services equivalence before the June 30th deadline.

A majority of market analysts expect the Bank of England to sanction additional quantitative easing by the end of 2020. There were reports that the EU was prepared to compromise on the level playing field issue which could be a positive factor, but the UK currency was unable to respond on Thursday as global risk appetite remained fragile.

Economic Calendar

07:00German GfK Consumer Confidence (JUL)-12-18.6
11:00CBI Distributive Trades Survey(JUN)-50-50
13:30USD Durable Goods Orders Ex Transportation(MAY)0.10%-7.70%
13:30USD Durable Goods Orders (M/M)(MAY)7.10%-17.70%
13:30USD GDP (Annualized)-5.00%-5.00%
13:30USD GDP Price Index (Q/Q)1.30%1.60%
13:30USD Goods Trade Balance(MAY)--70.73B
13:30USD Wholesale Inventories-0.30%
13:30USD Initial Jobless Claims-1508K
13:30USD Continuing Jobless Claims-20544K

*All rates shown are indicative of interbank rates and should only be used for indication purposes only. It is important to note that foreign exchange rates fluctuate and that rates may vary depending on the amount and the base currency that is purchased or sold. Rates are correct as of 8:00am UK time. CentralFX are not responsible for the rates shown.