Risk-off is certainly back with a vengeance with no mercy for equities, which appear to finally be ‘catching down’ to the reality of a world that faces the prospects of a recession. News that more cases are popping up in European countries (Spain, Italy, Germany…) alongside the state of readiness by some states in the US for a virus outbreak keeps spooking the market. It feels as though the market has finally caved in and now prices convincingly an upcoming announcement by the World’s Health Organization that we are facing a ‘pandemic situation’.
The behavior in the Aussie and the Kiwi keeps playing into this view as the currencies suffer the most its proximity to China and are set to experience the greatest economic pain if the global economy stagnates. The US Dollar, although to a lesser degree, also joined the fragility in the Oceanic currencies, in what still looks like a technical correction in a very well-established uptrend this year. The weakness in the Canadian Dollar is a nascent development to also keep an eye on as the unwinding of the ‘carry trade’ back to old fashion ‘risk-off’ dynamics with Oil flirting with the $50.00 handle is far from the backdrop that would make the currency thrive.