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Pfizer vaccine buoys markets

CAD - Canadian Dollar

News that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was 90% effective in early trials drove equity markets higher, and in turn demand for currencies other than the US dollar increased.

In particular, the value of USDCAD was down to its lowest levels since January 2020. No other currency pairs have had such a dramatic swing since the election. It traded at 1.29 this morning.

Risk appetite, or the market’s willingness to invest outside the US, has surged with the selection of Joe Biden as the next president. USDCAD has been tied closely to the rise and fall of equity markets, enough so that the Bank of Canada announced two weeks ago that it was including equity markets into their evaluation of interest rates.

The bank’s logic doesn’t seem far from the mark today. The S&P 500 was up 3% yesterday.

Key Movers

Great British pound rose yesterday on the back of a lift in the mood of investors following yesterday vaccine announcement. GBPUSD picked up to the mid 1.32 handle on the news, with GBPEUR breaking 1.11. However, the market did retrace slightly towards the back end of the European session with GBPUSD finishing off the day around the mid 1.31 handle and GBPEUR back below 1.11. This morning the market has continued to push higher with the positive mood in financial markets.

Bank of England Governor Bailey spoke yesterday, mainly stating that The Bank of England was right to ignore climate change risks in its emergency response to the initial impact of COVID-19 on the economy, and instead seek to tackle them through longer-term regulatory changes. The UK’s unemployment rate continued to push higher, this morning the rate rose to 4.8% between July to September. Redundancies rose by 181,000 for the period, which is a record high. This was mainly due to companies expecting the furlough scheme to end at the end of October, however it has now been extended to March.

The Australian dollar made fresh 10-week highs through trade on Monday, extending beyond 0.73 US cents. Last week’s risk on mantra continued into the new week as investors pushed equities to record highs and sent haven currencies plunging lower. Already buoyed by former Vice President Joe Biden’s victory markets found added scope for optimism following reports Pfizer and BioNtech’s vaccine is reportedly 90% effective in preventing COVID-19, an incredible result and a strong indication a viable vaccine can be found. The higher appetite for risk drove the AUD to intraday highs at 0.7340 before profit taking prompted a retreat below 0.73 and a narrow 20-point range into this morning’s open.

Expected Ranges

EUR/CAD: 1.532 - 1.540 ▲

GBP/CAD: 1.703 - 1.727 ▼

AUD/CAD: 0.944 - 0.948 ▲

USD/CAD: 1.296 - 1.304 ▲