Asian currencies drop as investors flee to safe haven assets amid news of virus spreading beyond China
Asian currencies fell on Monday following news of the rapidly spreading coronavirus being reported on several countries outside of China. The news fanned fears of a pandemic and had investors retreating to safe haven assets such as gold and the U.S. Dollar.
South Korea, Italy, and Iran were among the countries that reported a sharp increase of infected cases from the virus. Currently, South Korea has reported with more than 760 infected with Italy and Iran reporting more than 150 and 40 infected cases respectively.
Currencies such as the Chinese Yuan, the Australian Dollar, the New Zealand Dollar, the Singapore Dollar, and the New Taiwan Dollar had all observed a drop in value.
The Australian Dollar dropped to an 11-year low in early trade while the Korean Won fell by 1% to a 6-month low. The Malaysian Rinngit, with additional pressure from political turmoil, dropped 0.6% lower to its weakest since September.
Against a basket of currencies, the United States Dollar crawled up to a 3-year peak since last week. It traded against the Euro at a firm $1.0827 and the British Pound at $1.2946. It currently traded with the AUD and the NZD at $0.6613 and $0.6324 respectively.
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