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Here is what you need to know on Thursday, July 9:

Risk-on – Stocks are on the rise and the dollar is on the back foot as hopes for a vaccine or a cure to COVID-19 outweigh concerns about rising US and global cases. Gold has been consolidating its surge above $1,800 and US jobless claims are awaited. 

Hopes: Emergent BioSolutions has been the latest company to move forward with testing a drug that may provide protection against coronavirus for medical staff. Efforts to develop a vaccine are moving forward at full speed. US investors may also have been encouraged by President Donald Trump’s push to reopen schools in the fall.

The administration’s urge to return to normal comes against yet a new record in the case on Wednesday – 59,000. Texas hit a high of 9,900 infections and a positive test rate of around 20%. Cases are on the rise also in California, Arizona, Florida, and Oklahoma, where the seven-day average of cases quintuple from around 100 to nearly 500 within a month. 

Sino-American relations: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo upped the ante by taking aim at Chinese tech firms over data theft and around its tighter grip on Hong Kong. Reports that Washington would aim to destabilize the USD/HKD peg seem premature. A Chinese diplomat called for a more positive tone.

A snapshot of the US labor market s due out with initial jobless claims for the week ending on July 3 and continuing claims for the one concluding on June 6. 

See US Jobless Claims: Employment is up, why are claims not down?

Gold has finally broken above $1,800, hitting a high above $1,817, and nearing an increase of 20% this year. The precious metal has been advancing regardless of the market mood. 

EUR/USD is trading above 1.1365, hitting the highest since June 11, underpinned by dollar weakness. German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged her peers to approve the ambitious EU Fund. The “Frugal Four” maintain their objection to €500 billion of grants. Leaders will hold a face-to-face meeting next week.

GBP/USD surged above 1.26, partly encouraged by the new £30 billion fiscal stimulus plan. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak laid out a detailed program including a job retention scheme and other means of boosting the economy.

AUD/USD remains shy of the 0.70 level despite advancing. Sino-Australian tensions remain elevated as Canberra announced it would cancel an extradition treaty with Hong Kong. 

USD/CAD is trading around 1.35, with the Canadian dollar and oil seemingly shrugging off an increase in inventories. 

More AUD/USD, NZD/USD, USD/CAD: The factors moving commodity currencies after the dust has settled

Cryptocurrencies continue their gradual advance, with Bitcoin trading around $9,400.