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Forex Today: Yen Weakens, Stocks Strengthen

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on March 21, 2022
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Forex Today: Yen Weakens, Stocks Strengthen
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Risk sentiment appears to be recovering in the markets, and the Japanese Yen remains unusually weak.

Markets have seen a recovery in risk sentiment over recent days, following the Fed’s 0.25% rate hike and measured but tough language last week, and Russia seemingly being fought to a near-standstill in Ukraine without any major escalation. This has boosted the price of stock markets and several commodities, with crude oil rising (despite the Saudi Aramco pledging to double production) and cotton trading at a multi-year high.

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The Forex market is dominated by a weak Japanese Yen, influenced by the Bank of Japan’s pledge to continue monetary easing until its inflation target of 2% is reached. The USD/JPY currency pair continued to rise Friday to trade at a new 6-year high above JPY119.25 and looks likely to rise higher still, having settled above a key support level at JPY119.12. The commodity currencies (CAD, AUD, NZD) are showing long-term strength, but the short-term outlook today shows the US Dollar looking strong.The Bank of England last Thursday voted to raise its interest rate by 0.25% to 0.75%, with fewer members voting for a bigger hike than had been expected, which has led the British Pound to weaken slightly on this minor dovish tilt.The Russian invasion of Ukraine is well into its fourth week, with the Russian advance clearly stalled. Russia is demanding the surrender of the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol in return for the opening of humanitarian corridors for access to trapped civilians.Daily new coronavirus cases globally rose last week for the second consecutive week for the first time since January, suggesting that the omicron variant is not going to disappear despite the recent huge wave of infection.It is estimated that 64% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccination.Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 471 million with an average case fatality rate of 1.30%.The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing only in Australia, Austria, Bhutan, Cyprus, China, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, South Korea, Laos, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Switzerland, Thailand, Tonga, the UK, and Vietnam.

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