The Japanese yen gained today as optimism about the coronavirus vaccine waned, making safer currencies more appealing to traders.
Markets started the week in an optimistic mood due to the news that a major breakthrough in the development of the coronavirus vaccine was made. The optimism made investors less interested in acquiring safe-haven currencies. But the optimism has started to wane as there is still a large degree of uncertainty surrounding the treatment.
Seiji Adachi, Member of the Policy Board in the Bank of Japan, delivered a speech today. In it, he talked about how the COVID-19 pandemic made it hard to predict developments in the economy, both global and Japanese:
Looking at recent developments, however, it is difficult to envision a post-COVID-19 economy, at least for the time being.
He argued that the risk of additional shocks that the pandemic may cause make it prudent for policymakers to maintain substantial stimulus:
Uncertainty remains high regarding the outlook, and if the pace of economic recovery is much slower than expected, it is not possible to completely rule out the risk that firms’ positive stance toward the outlook will be lost or that corporate bankruptcies and discontinuation of businesses will increase. To avoid such a situation, I believe that it remains necessary in the COVID-19 era to maintain an accommodative monetary policy stance while carefully monitoring economic developments.
USD/JPY dropped from 105.43 to 105.14 as of 18:58 GMT today. EUR/JPY was little changed at 124.17. GBP/JPY tanked from 139.36 to 137.99.
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