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Forex Today: Gold, yen soar, stocks, dollar dive as US coronavirus fears leap, Non-Farm Payrolls eyed

Here is what you need to know on Friday, March 6: 

The soggy mood in markets continues as the US admitted it performed only around 500 coronavirus tests and as thousands in New York City have self-quarantined. President Donald Trump has belated acknowledged the disease may have an impact on the economy while the Senate advanced a $8.3 billion bill to combat the illness.

The number of cases continues rising in South Korea, which is conducting millions of tests, and also in other countries. The total number of cases near 100,000, around 50,000 recovered, and 3,300 have died. Italy's mortalities have reached 148 while German cases hit 400. In the US, statistics stand at 177 infections and 11 deaths.

Gold is shining, hitting $1,680 and near the seven-year highs of $1,689. The safe-haven Japanese yen is under demand, sending USD/JPY to below 106, the lowest since September 2019. Goldman Sachs says it could fall to 95. 

The dollar is tumbling alongside US bond yields with returns on benchmark ten-year treasuries hitting 0.80%.  John Williams, President of the New York branch of the Federal Reserve, has said that the bank is ready to make more adjustments. The Fed is projected to reduce borrowing costs in its planned meeting on March 18 after cutting them in a surprise meeting earlier this week. 

EUR/USD is trading near 1.1250, the highest in seven months, despite expectations for the European Central Bank to ease its policy next week. 

GBP/USD's gains are more limited after Michel Barnier, Chief EU Negotiator, stressed that it will be hard to reach a post-Brexit agreement on time with the UK. 

US Non-Farm Payrolls for February stand out on the calendar. America is projected to report a satisfactory increase of 175,000 jobs and yearly wage growth is forecast to decelerate from 3.1% to 3%. The decision could impact the upcoming Fed decision.

See:

  • US Non-Farm Payrolls February Preview: The first facts
  • Non-Farm Payrolls: Greenback comeback or cementing a second double Fed cut? Three scenarios

USD/CAD is trading around 1.34 after the Bank of Canada also decreased the interest rate by 50bp earlier this year. Stephen Poloz, Governor of the BOC, said that there is close cooperation between central bankers all over the world. He added that some CBs have more room to act than others. Canada also publishes its employment statistics today, with modest gains on the cards.

See Canadian Jobs Preview: Lonely loonie needs robust figures to stay afloat, three scenarios

Oil prices remain under pressure despite a commitment by OPEC countries to cut output by 1.5 million barrels per day. The growing fears of the impact of the virus and Russia's reluctance to play along keep the pressure on crude. 

Cryptocurrencies have been extending their gains with Bitcoin trading above $9.100.

See Gold may top $2,000, stock crash potential, EUR/USD uptrend, and more – Interview with Joel Kruger

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