• Australian Dollar (AUD) trades lower in risk off trading
  • President Trump tests positive for Covid
  • US NFP sees just 661,000 new jobs created vs 850,000 expected
  • Australian retail sales dive 4%

The Australian Dollar US Dollar (AUD/USD) exchange rate is trading lower on Friday snapping a 4 day winning streak. The pair settled +0.3% higher on Thursday at US$0.7183. At 15:15 UTC, AUD/USD trades -0.4% at US$0.7154. Heading towards the weekend, the pair is looking at gains of 1.8% across the week but losses of -2.9% across the month of September.

The risk sensitive Australian Dollar is trending lower as the mood in the market soured on the final day of the trading week. News that the President of the US, Trump had tested positive for COVID panicked investors sending them in search of safe havens. As a result, riskier assets and currencies fell southwards, whilst the safe haven US Dollar surged higher. Stock markets across the globe tumbled lower as part of the risk off move.

Adding to the risk off mode, US non-farm payroll data showed that the recovery in the US labour market was stalling. The number of new jobs added in the US in September was 661,000. This was significantly less than the 850,000 new jobs that analysts had forecast. However, the unemployment rate beat forecasts dropping to 7.9%, down from 8.4% in August.

The disappointing news didn’t end there. US Congress have failed again to agree a fiscal stimulus programme. There had been some optimism in the previous session that the Republicans and Democrats would reach an agreement over another round of fiscal stimulus.

Australian domestic data also dragged on the currency. Australian retail sales plunged 4% on in August compared to the month earlier. The weak reading came following gains of 3.2% and 2.7% in June and July respectively. The virus hit state of Victoria was hardest hit by the downturn owing to strict lockdown restrictions.