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Here is what you need to know on Wednesday, February 19:

Coronavirus: The respiratory disease has already taken the lives of over 2,000 people including a second victim in Hong Kong and infected over 75,000. However, contrary to Tuesday, markets are calmer as Beijing has announced more measures to help the economy. This includes bailing out airlines, waiving social security payments, and more.

Markets: The safe-haven yen is retreating with USD/JPY topping 110 while Gold’s rally halted around $1,600. The dollar is only marginally lower against other currencies.

Robert Kaplan, President of the Dallas branch of the Federal Reserve, has reaffirmed the bank’s wait-and-see mode. His speech came ahead of the release of the FOMC Meeting Minutes from the January decision, in which the Fed left rates unchanged and made only subtle changes to the outlook. The minutes may reveal more on the Fed’s thinking on the coronavirus, inflation, growth, and more.

See January FOMC Minutes Preview: The economic comparisons accumulate

EUR/USD has been trading around 1.08 after dropping sharply on Tuesday and filling the “Macron Gap.” The ZEW Economic Sentiment figure was the latest worrying eurozone release to push the pair deeper into levels last seen in April 2017.

GBP/USD has been able to recover from disappointing wage figures and the stark differences between the UK and the EU ahead of official post-Brexit talks. Sterling faces another test on Wednesday – Consumer Price Index figures for January. 

See UK inflation preview: How CPI may finally break the pound’s prowess

AUD/USD is edging higher to around 0.67 amid the better market mood. Australia’s Wage Price Index rose by 0.5% in the fourth quarter, within expectations. Thursday’s jobs report is awaited. 

Canada publishes its inflation figures for January with both headline and Core CPI statistics set to edge higher. The Canadian dollar has been recovering alongside oil prices.

Cryptocurrencies have consolidated their gains made on Tuesday with Bitcoin holding above $10,000 and Ethereum trading around $280.

 

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