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  • Asian session remains mostly illiquid amid off at Australia, New Zealand.
  • A lack of major data/events from China, Japan also contributes to the market’s inactivity.
  • Coronavirus-led risk aversion regains attention as the US tops Italy to be the global hotspot.
  • WTI’s latest recovery still fails to justify OPEC+ production cut.

Forex today in Asia remains a dull affair amid Easter Monday holidays in key markets, except for Japan and China. Also restricting the market’s activity was a lack of major/events on the economic calendar. Even so, the US dollar pulls back amid the coronavirus-led risk-off whereas Gold fails to benefit from the risk aversion, maybe due to the greenback recovery. Further, WTI hesitantly cheers the OPEC+ deal, following the initial losses, as the market compares it with initial expectations of 20 million barrels a day of cuts.

It’s worth mentioning that the coronavirus (COVID-19) has so far resulted in 114,000 deaths, not to forget above 1.8 million cases, on a global basis. For the US, the numbers of cases have crossed 556,000 mark, as per CNN, while the death toll rose to 22,073 according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Elsewhere, figures from China keep citing the receding strength of the deadly virus while South Korean data also marked optimism with new cases to a seven-week low.

Among the majors, EUR/USD bears the burden of USD bounce but GBP/USD benefits from the UK PM Johnson’s exit from the hospital but fails to ignore Chancellor Sunak’s downbeat GDP forecast. Moving on, USD/JPY drops due to the yen’s safe-haven status whereas USD/CAD and USD/CHF stay mostly unchanged. Additionally, AUD/USD and NZD/USD fails to defy the risk aversion as the world’s largest economy tops Italy to be the global hotspot of the pandemic.

Main topics in Asia

OPEC+ decision would put a floor under oil prices – BNP Paribas

US economy will contract 40% in Q2 – JP Morgan

Goldman Sachs calls historic OPEC+ oil output cut deal as insufficient

China’s Hubei province reports zero new coronavirus cases

UK Chancellor: Potential for a 30% drop in UK GDP – The Times

Iraqi Oil Minister: Massive oil output cut deal will help lover inventories and boost prices

Fed’s Kashkari: US economy faces ‘long, hard road’ to recover from coronavirus

US Pres. Trump: We are winning, and will win, the war on the Invisible Enemy!

OPEC+ agrees oil output cuts of 9.7 mln bpd

Key focus ahead

Considering the lack of major data/events on the economic calendar, forex traders will keep eyes on the virus updates for fresh impulse. However, any surprise announcements from the Fed and/or Trump administration could also move the markets. Elsewhere, updates from the International Energy Agency (IEA) could also offer intermediate moves to oil prices.

EUR/USD remains flat even as bullish bets hit highest since June 2018

EUR net long positions hit two-year highs, but fail to bring in additional bids.  EUR/USD is sidelined at press time amid losses in the US stock futures.

GBP/USD: Downbeat UK GDP forecast cap upside in Sterling

Sterling finds no takers as UK’s finance minister warns of massive economic contraction.  The coronavirus-led uncertainty could keep the US dollar better bid. European markets are closed on account of Easter Monday.

USD/JPY Forecast: A quiet week may be a prelude to risk recovery

USD/JPY closed at par for the week and the month. Risk aversion has ebbed but risk appetite has not yet returned. The enormous addition to global dollar may begin to undermine USD/JPY.

BoC: On hold but keeping its powder dry in its full-year forecast, 1.36s-1.5050s FX playbook

BOC on the cards this week, and FX is at stake if RBA was anything to go by. Volatility is the name of the game, although the BoC is expected to stay on hold, the devil is in the detail. COVID-19 expected to keep USD underpinned and weigh on commodity-FX, bulls looking for long term game to 1.5050s. Downside target comes in at a 61.8% Fibo, bulls seeking to buy the dip, low 1.36’s.

Chart of The Week: Gold meets long-term resistance structure around $1,700

Gold bulls have been back in control to test 1700 handle. While below the 1700 handle, profit-taking could trigger a flush out of speculative bids. Correction territory opens a retracement to 1620s below 1640s.