Businesses resume in China; currencies gain as coronavirus slows down


Asian currencies gained on Monday as signs of the coronavirus slowing down prompted large businesses in China to resume operations.

Workers started to return to offices and factories as the government relieved some travel restrictions. The epidemic has already killed over 900 people, most of whom reside in mainland China.

The Australian dollar gained 0.5%, at $0.6706. The AUD slipped 4.5% this year, marking its decade-low.

The New Zealand dollar recovered from a two-month low at 0.1%, to $0.6405. The Japanese yen slipped to 109.75 against the dollar. Bonds slid and stock markets bounced from losses.

Taiwan’s Foxconn, a major contractor on technology production, was given approval to resume operations in its plant north of China. Tesla’s Shanghai factory will resume operations on Monday.

The official daily update on infected cases showed less than 3,000 new cases since Feb. 2.

The Chinese yuan gained 0.2%, to 6.9891, lifting other Asian currencies with it.

The Thai baht, Singapore dollar, and Korean won all rebounded from heavy selling amid the virus fears.

Despite signs of slowdown and lift in travel restrictions, many workplaces in Beijing remain closed and employees continued working at home.

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