Asian stocks traded mostly lower as worries over the coronavirus intensified after the number of newly confirmed global infections reached an all-time high over the past 24 hours.
Crude oil prices declined after the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) kept its global oil demand forecasts for 2020 and 2021 unchanged. The agency expects the demand to fall by 8.4 million barrels per day on an annual basis in 2020 before it rebounds by 5.5 million barrels per day in 2021.
The dollar index (USD) traded steadied after US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi were far apart on another coronavirus economic relief package, and that a deal would be hard to reach before the November 3 elections.
The euro (EUR) traded slightly better after the European Union agreed to pay more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to Gilead for a six-month supply of its antiviral drug remdesivir, shortly before the publication of final results of the biggest trial of the COVID-19 medication.
The UK pound (GBP) tumbled as the European Union and Britain were set to prolong Brexit talks past a mid-October deadline to try to bridge gaps holding up a new trade agreement. European Union leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday will pressure Britain for concessions.
The aussie (AUD) plunged after Reserve Bank of Australia’s Governor Phillip Lowe announced that the central bank could cut rates to 0.1% and leave rates at lower levels for longer.
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