GBP/AUD is advancing in early trading on Monday. The pair is now trading at 1.9220, up 0.28% as of 6:09 AM UTC. The quotation has just bounced back to the peak of last week.
The Aussie is under pressure amid the country’s struggle with bushfires and fears of the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The government confirmed earlier today a fifth case of the new coronavirus. Health officials revealed that a woman who is 21 years-old was on the last flight out of Wuhan, China, to Sydney before China banned travelling out of the city. Wuhan is the city where the virus has started.
The new strain of the virus has already killed 80 people in China. Also, it has infected over 2,700 people worldwide.
The first four cases were confirmed last Saturday. One of the patients resides in Melbourne and three in Sydney. Health officials said that they expected more cases considering the volume of traveling between the two countries. China is by far the greatest source of tourists in Australia.
Australian officials said earlier today that they were collaborating with Chinese counterparts on how to evacuate about 100 Australian people, most of them children, out of Wuhan.
Health Minister Greg Hunt told media:
“We are working on a number of fronts, firstly to make sure … that there is support for those Australians and we are also working on, as are other countries, to try to secure their ability to return to Australia.”
The Aussie is also dragged down by the negative consequences of bushfires. The country experienced a relief in recent days amid heavy rains. However, meteorologists warned that the cooler weather is about to end and the fires might begin spreading again.
The New South Wales Bureau of Meteorology tweeted:
“Unfortunately, the reprieve may be short-lived with a blast of heat likely late this week in some areas.”
Elsewhere, the sterling maintains strong amid increasing optimism among both businesses and consumers. Last week, a series of positive data, including PMIs and labor market data, prompted investors to cut bets for an interest rate cut from the Bank of England this Thursday.