Forex Today: Risk aversion leads the way, dollar firmer


Here is what you need to know on Monday, January 18:

The dollar strengthened on the back of a dismal market mood. Poor US employment and retail sales data spurred the sour sentiment, which extended into the weekly close. The greenback posted substantial gains against most of its major rivals.

Concerns were triggered by a delay in the Pfizer’s vaccine distribution in Europe, which revived concerns about economic progress within the pandemic context. Wall Street closed in the red, US Treasury yields edged lower.

The EUR/USD pair fell sub-1.2100, while GBP/USD settled below 1.3600. Commodity-linked currencies also lost ground but were somehow resilient to the dollar’s demand and falling equities.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced additional restrictive travel measures on Friday, to protect “against the risk of as yet unidentified new strains.” The UK will close all travel corridors starting this Monday, and anyone flying into the country will need to provide a negative coronavirus test.

Gold plunged on renewed interest for the dollar, posting its lowest settlement in a month at $1,827.80 a troy ounce. Crude oil was also affected, with WTI closing the week at $52.00 a barrel.

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