Forex Today: Risk-off leads the way, central banks paving the way for more easing

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Here is what you need to know on Monday, October 19:

The risk-averse sentiment eased just modestly ahead of the weekly close, as US data beat expectations, with Retail Sales and the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index improving by more than anticipated.  Still, the greenback finished the week with gains against most major rivals.

EUR´s weakness was linked to increasing coronavirus cases in the EU, leading to restrictive measures in the Union. Over the weekend, European Central Bank board member Fabio Panetta warned that an ultra-loose monetary policy is more than necessary, amid the risk of a second wave of COVID-19 derailing the economic recovery.  EUR/USD settled at 1.1715, ahead of ECB’s head Lagarde speech this Monday.

The British Pound was hit by comments from UK PM Boris Johnson, who said that local business should get ready for an Australia-type deal with the European Union, “given the EU have refused to negotiate seriously.¨ Even further, he said that talks with the EU were over, adding that EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier should only come to London this week “if he is prepared to discuss all of the issues on basis of a legal text.” Barnier was due in London for talks with his counterpart, David Frost.  GBP/USD trades around 1.2900.

The Australian dollar was quite resilient to greenback’s demand but fell after RBA’s Governor Lowe hinted a rate cut in the near-term.

Over the weekend, China passed a law restricting exports of controlled items, allowing the government to act against countries that abuse export controls in a way that harm’s China’s interests. With no explicit mention, the decision is correlated to US measures on Huawei, part of the trade war ongoing between Washington and Beijing.

 Gold prices consolidated around $1,900 a troy ounce for a second consecutive week, ending it with modest losses just below the mentioned level. Crude oil prices were also little moved these days, with WTI finishing the week modestly up at $40.70 a barrel.

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