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01.04.2020: USD buoyed by risk-off sentiment (USDX, USD/JPY, AUD/USD)

The number of the coronavirus cases has exceeded 900,000 around the world. Most countries are still in lockdown. Only China is cautiously reopening its economy. Restaurants and stores are now available to customers who are in no hurry to resume normal consumption activity. Domestic demand is still very low.
Today on the first day of the month, Markit research group provides surveys on the manufacturing sector for various countries. A survey for China’s industry is carried out alongside the Caixin national news agency. The report proved a revival of business activity among small and medium-sized factories as the PMI entered the expansion territory in March. The indicator rebounded to 50.1 from the worst contraction on record in February.
Nevertheless, market sentiment remains pessimistic because the rest of the world has not reached the peak of the pandemic yet. The gloomy prospects of the global economy and its painstaking recovery boost demand for safe haven assets. The US dollar has been buoyed by its safe-haven status. Its index is trading in a range from 99.00 to 99.50.
At the same time, lackluster manufacturing activity beyond China will be confirmed today by other PMIs. The Tankan quarterly survey showed that the index for Japan’s large manufacturers tumbled to minus 8 points which is the lowest mark in seven years. The actual reading beat the forecast of a worse drop to minus 10.
Despite the better-than-expected score, investors are anticipating more radical measures from Japan’s authorities to prop up the economy. The dollar/yen pair has been trapped in a range from 107.50 to 107.80. The pair needs to sink below 107.02 to develop the downtrend with the long-term target at 102.60. Meanwhile, technical experts assume another climb to 109.00.
The events in Australia reminded traders of a looming crisis. The minutes of the latest policy meeting of the Reserve Bank of Australia read that the Board expects a sharp decrease in the domestic economy. To mitigate this contraction, the official cash rate was trimmed to 0.25% as an emergency move. Besides, the regulator launched the bond-buying program.
The rhetoric of the central bank as well as high demand for the US dollar weakened the aussie. The AUD/USD pair is trading lower. However, bears are not strong enough, so the pair cannot break 0.6078. If the price tests this level, it will be able to decline deeper to 0.5915 and 0.5834. Before the price moves downwards, it is likely to bounce slightly to 0.6215.

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