The safe haven Japanese yen
gained on Friday and riskier currencies, including the
Australian dollar, dropped as risk sentiment soured after U.S.
President Donald Trump threatened to impose new tariffs on China
over the coronavirus crisis.
Trump said on Thursday his hard-fought trade deal with China
was now of secondary importance to the coronavirus pandemic and
he threatened new tariffs on Beijing, as his administration
crafted retaliatory measures over the outbreak.
“U.S. President Trump soured the mood in equity markets,
raising his accusations against China about the coronavirus
outbreak, threatening new tariffs,” Action Economics said in a
report. “The yen has outperformed while commodity currencies
have underperformed amid a sharp phase of risk-off positioning.”
The dollar fell 0.29% against the yen to 106.86 yen.
The Australian dollar, which on Thursday reached a
seven-week high of $0.6569, dropped 1.54% to $0.6410.