The Aussie nearly takes the top spot, lifted higher early in the week on positive global risk sentiment. This was enough to overcome rising fears of a second wave in Australia as COVID-19 begin to grow.
Australian Headlines and Economic data
The Aussie was in bull mode to start the week, and with no direct catalysts from Australia, it’s likely positive risk sentiment was the main driver. Traders were likely leaning positive on weekend news that Trump finally wore a mask, and possibly on news that Pfizer, BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine getting FDA’s ‘fast track’ status.
But we did see risk sentiment flip back to negative during the U.S. session after news broke of California closing a variety of businesses back down.
Again, no major Australian catalysts, so the broad Aussie move higher may be attributed to risk-on sentiment. This time it was positive equity earnings headlines (Dow rises for a third straight day, rallies more than 500 points as Caterpillar leads) that appeared to be the main driver, over shadowing negative geopolitical news (Trump “not interested” in Phase 2 trade talks with China) and accelerating virus cases growth.
Australian jobs were better-than-expected, but the Aussie broadly moved lower on the session, possibly on traders focusing on the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Australia. Global risk sentiment also flipped negative during the U.S. session on a combination of negative U.S. economic data (U.S. Weekly jobless claims rise by more than 1 million for 16th straight week) and geopolitical news (U.S. Weighs Sweeping Travel Ban on Chinese Communist Party Members).
The Aussie was a net winner on the session, but there doesn’t seem to be a direct catalyst for the move. It’s possible that comments from the Director of the National Institute of Allergey and Infectious Diseases (Dr. Fauci is optimistic we’ll see COVID vaccine breakthroughs by early Fall) brought in some risk taking, but overall it was a mixed closed for the Aussie into the weekend.