The yuan reached its highest level for two and half years against the US dollar during early Monday trading. The Chinese currency rose as the Chinese central bank set the official exchange rate at the highest level since 2005, in a move that is seen by many as a significant statement from Beijing and indicative of China’s desire to assume a more pivotal role in global foreign exchange markets. The yuan gains also supported other Asian currencies as well as more broadly risk associated currencies, such as the Australian dollar.
European markets had a mixed opening on Tuesday after the biggest sell-off of the first trading session of a year since 2016. Despite vaccines being deployed, record virus numbers in many areas as well as full lockdowns in a few hotspots, like England, are denting this week’s market sentiment. While many traders keep their eyes and focus on the end of the crisis, yesterday’s drops on most markets have underlined how fragile the current recovery still is. Today’s best performances come from retail and energy shares despite a lack of an OPEC+ oil supply agreement. Discussions are set to restart later today and should sustain the increase in market volatility on both oil markets and energy shares. Meanwhile investors are likely to return their focus back to data and fundamentals with today’s US ISM Manufacturing PMI for December as well as the US State of Georgia’s run-off election that will decide whether the Biden Administration controls the Senate or not.
The announcement of the full lockdown hasn’t significantly impacted stock prices in the UK, the FTSE-100 Index remains inside its bullish channel, slightly below the 6,600pts level.
Experienced writer and journalist, working in the global online trading sector, Steffy is the Editor of LeapRate. She has previous experience as a copywriter and has been with the company since January 2020. Steffy has a British and American Studies degree from St. Kliment Ochridski University in Sofia.