The major Asia-Pacific currencies declined as the greenback strengthened. Some volatility made the Japanese Yen a less-attractive safe-haven while declining demand for the higher-risk Australian and New Zealand Dollars.
There was little domestic data in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan to drive the price action. Still, the recent movement shows that traders are throwing their attention to the weaker greenback.
Traders have been dumping dollars while buying Yen, Australian and New Zealand dollars because of expectations of a faster revival in the global economy due to the coronavirus vaccines‘ rollout. Furthermore, an accommodative Fed and fresh fiscal stimulus from the U.S. government have also been capping the greenback.
Significantly, the Japanese Yen declined to a more than one-week low. A holiday-shortened week of fears about the new COVID-19 strain prompted investors to seek safety in the greenback.
The USD/JPY increased by 0.18% and touched 103.500. Furthermore, Domestic economic data was mixed. Bank of Japan Core CPI declined by 0.1%, while Tokyo Core CPI fell by 0.9% and Retail Sales boosted by 0.7%.
The unemployment rate increased by 2.9%
Furthermore, the unemployment rate climbed 2.9%, better than the 3.1% forecast, and Housing Starts declined by 3.7%.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar declined. Investors dumped the higher-yielding currencies on concerns over a fast-spreading new COVID-19 strain. Money flowed out of the Australian dollar and into the safe-haven U.S. Treasurys and U.S. Dollar.
The AUD/USD declined by 0.30%, which equals 0.0023, and settled at 0.7600. However, the Forex pair remained within striking distance of its two and a half year high hit earlier in the week.
Additionally, the New Zealand dollar also ended marginally lower. It was tracking the same pattern as the Australian Dollar and Japanese Yen, for the same reason, worries that the new COVID-19 mutation could slow down the global economic rebound. Significantly, a short-covering rally in the U.S. Dollar also weakened the commodity-linked currency.
Moreover, the NZD/USD fell by 0.24%, which equals 0.0017, and settled at 0.7124. Moreover, the NZD/USD fell by 0.24%, which equals 0.0017, and settled at 0.7124.