The Japanese yen soared and the Chinese yuan slipped in offshore trade as death toll on the new coronavirus outbreak in China rose to 80. Global worries echo on containing the virus while governments prioritize risk aversion.
The yen peaked at its highest in three weeks against the dollar, as investors seek the “safe haven” currency at rough times. The yuan dropped to its lowest since Jan. 8.
The Chinese government announced to extend the Lunar New Year holidays to Feb. 2 to forward the risk prevention of the outbreak. The holidays were originally due on Jan. 30.
Health authorities worldwide race to avoid a further escalation of the outbreak, which has already infected over 2,000 people in China.
The virus’ impact on tourism and consumer spending has raised concerns and discouraged investors from taking risky trades.
The yen climbed to 108.73 per dollar, its highest since Jan. 8. Against the Australian dollar, the yen jumped 0.5%.
On offshore market, yuan fell 0.5% to 6.9625 per dollar, its lowest since Jan. 8. Meanwhile, the dollar index was little changed at 97.830.