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Darden: Consumer sentiment still choppy

Darden: Consumer sentiment still choppy


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Darden Restaurant Inc. posted improved profit and higher sales for its third quarter, but noted that the restaurant environment is still difficult to navigate as consumer sentiment remains mixed.

The company’s profit for the three months ended Feb. 26 rose 8.5 percent. Earnings totaled $164.1 million, or $1.25 per share, up from $151.2 million, or $1.08 per share, in the same quarter the year earlier.

Latest-quarter revenue rose 9 percent to $2.16 billion, reflecting positive same-store sales at each of the company’s chains, including a return to positive results at the struggling Olive Garden.

At Olive Garden, which had posted negative sales trends for more than a year, improved guest traffic and unseasonably warm winter weather helped boost sales. Earlier this year Darden noted that the chain will look to increase its value equation with customers, and recently debuted a $6.95 lunch promotion. That focus on value will continue for the chain, especially as consumers remain cautious on spending, according to Darden executives.

“The need for affordability continues, particularly in households that are more economically challenged,” Andrew Madsen, president and chief operating officer, said in a conference call with analysts and investors on Friday.

Orlando, Fla.-based Darden Restaurants operates 1,959 restaurants, including 702 Red Lobster units, 776 Olive Garden locations and 374 LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants, along with others under The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52 and Eddie V’s brands.

Madsen said Olive Garden will continue to run marketing campaigns that highlight specific new dishes and specific price points. The shift away from the chain’s traditional advertising that focused on Olive Garden’s Italian heritage is meant to promote the chain’s affordability.

“We are anticipating increasing traffic with a consumer set – with a guest segment that’s more affordability-minded – and that’s going to drive increases in total sales, in total margin dollars,” Madsen said. “We’re not anticipating, not planning, on a check decline.”

The company affirmed that it expects combined full-year U.S. same-store sales growth of between 2.5 percent and 3 percent for Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse. It also expects to open between 85 and 90 net new restaurants, which will help drive total sales growth of between 7 percent and 7.5 percent in fiscal 2012. Darden also affirmed that it anticipates growth in diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations to range between 4 percent and 7 percent.

Darden chief executive Clarence Otis said casual-dining trends have indeed improved but continue to rest on the choppiness of consumer sentiment.

“If we step back and look at it, I’d say, the last two years, it’s been a slow improving trend inside casual dining,” Otis said. “But that two years has also been marked by choppiness, and that choppiness has been based on consumer sentiment … So the underlying trend continues to be an improving trend, but there continues to be choppiness.”

Darden third-quarter chain results:

OLIVE GARDEN: Third-quarter sales rose 5.5 percent to $957 million, driven by revenue from 33 net new restaurants and a same-store sales increase of 2 percent.

RED LOBSTER: Sales increased 7.4 percent to $712 million. Domestic same-store sales increased 6 percent and the chain opened eight net new restaurants.

LONGHORN STEAKHOUSE: Sales totaled $311 million, a 16.2-percent increase from the same quarter a year ago, driven by 27 net new restaurants and a U.S. same-store sales increase of 6.7 percent.

SPECIALTY RESTAURANT GROUP: Third-quarter sales totaled $178 million, a 27.8-percent increase from the same quarter last year. Same-store sales rose 5.7 percent at The Capital Grille, 5.9 percent at Bahama Breeze and 6.1 percent at Seasons 52.

Contact Sarah Lockyer at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @slockyerNRN


FOREX-Dollar soaks up gains in choppy market, sentiment still fragile

TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) - The dollar recouped lost ground on the yen and extended gains against risk currencies on Tuesday, in a choppy trading session that underlined fragile confidence in frazzled markets.

Market liquidity was tight and investors remained nervous after coordinated moves by central banks had spectacularly failed to quell trepidation over the coronavirus pandemic.

The dollar rose 0.8% to 106.69 yen and gained on the euro, pound, as well as the Australian and New Zealand counterparts and most emerging markets' currencies.

Investors and businesses are scrambling for dollars as the outlook grows darker by the day. China has reported a fresh rise in cases. Malaysia is preparing to enter lockdown amid ever tighter measures in Europe and the United States.

Adding to jitters, the Philippines closed its stock market and suspended trade in bonds and currencies. Currency trade is set to resume tomorrow, with the other markets indefinitely shut in a reminder of the risks to liquidity.

"Liquidity is even worse compared with yesterday. Even the gold has been sold sharply," said Kazushige Kaida head of forex at State Street Bank in Tokyo.

"This is a world I have never seen before. This crisis is more incomprehensible than previous crises like the tech bubble burst (in 2000) and the LTCM crisis (in 1998)."

The Australian dollar, seen as sensitive to global growth due to the country's link to commodities, fell 0.7% to a fresh 11-year low of .6065.

The British pound is also under pressure, dogged by worries about not only Britain's exit from the European Union but also its sizable current account deficit.

Sterling traded at $1.2222, down 0.4% and near a five-month low of $1.2203 hit in the previous session.

Investors are also shunning many emerging market currencies.

MSCI emerging market currency index dropped 0.2%, staying at its lowest level since late 2018. The Korean won hit its lowest since 2010.

A rout on Wall Street on Monday stemming from fears over the coronavirus crisis in the West trumped the Federal Reserve's emergency move to slash rates on Sunday.

Investors took the Fed action, joined by central banks in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, as insufficient given the pathogen's breakneck spread across the world which has put many nations on virtual lockdowns.

Some analysts said the hasty moves may have backfired as investors were spooked over the possible panic among policymakers.

"Central banks are pressing the gas pedal to the floor. But the car is bogged down in a quagmire that is called coronavirus, so it won't move forward," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"Until the outbreak stops, for investors, it is time for patience," she said.

There is no clarity on that front, with global cases now rising to 174,100 with 6,700 deaths, prompting countries to shut borders and take increasingly drastic measures to try to reduce the severity of the outbreak. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tom Westbrook in Sydney Editing by Shri Navaratnam)


FOREX-Dollar soaks up gains in choppy market, sentiment still fragile

TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) - The dollar recouped lost ground on the yen and extended gains against risk currencies on Tuesday, in a choppy trading session that underlined fragile confidence in frazzled markets.

Market liquidity was tight and investors remained nervous after coordinated moves by central banks had spectacularly failed to quell trepidation over the coronavirus pandemic.

The dollar rose 0.8% to 106.69 yen and gained on the euro, pound, as well as the Australian and New Zealand counterparts and most emerging markets' currencies.

Investors and businesses are scrambling for dollars as the outlook grows darker by the day. China has reported a fresh rise in cases. Malaysia is preparing to enter lockdown amid ever tighter measures in Europe and the United States.

Adding to jitters, the Philippines closed its stock market and suspended trade in bonds and currencies. Currency trade is set to resume tomorrow, with the other markets indefinitely shut in a reminder of the risks to liquidity.

"Liquidity is even worse compared with yesterday. Even the gold has been sold sharply," said Kazushige Kaida head of forex at State Street Bank in Tokyo.

"This is a world I have never seen before. This crisis is more incomprehensible than previous crises like the tech bubble burst (in 2000) and the LTCM crisis (in 1998)."

The Australian dollar, seen as sensitive to global growth due to the country's link to commodities, fell 0.7% to a fresh 11-year low of .6065.

The British pound is also under pressure, dogged by worries about not only Britain's exit from the European Union but also its sizable current account deficit.

Sterling traded at $1.2222, down 0.4% and near a five-month low of $1.2203 hit in the previous session.

Investors are also shunning many emerging market currencies.

MSCI emerging market currency index dropped 0.2%, staying at its lowest level since late 2018. The Korean won hit its lowest since 2010.

A rout on Wall Street on Monday stemming from fears over the coronavirus crisis in the West trumped the Federal Reserve's emergency move to slash rates on Sunday.

Investors took the Fed action, joined by central banks in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, as insufficient given the pathogen's breakneck spread across the world which has put many nations on virtual lockdowns.

Some analysts said the hasty moves may have backfired as investors were spooked over the possible panic among policymakers.

"Central banks are pressing the gas pedal to the floor. But the car is bogged down in a quagmire that is called coronavirus, so it won't move forward," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"Until the outbreak stops, for investors, it is time for patience," she said.

There is no clarity on that front, with global cases now rising to 174,100 with 6,700 deaths, prompting countries to shut borders and take increasingly drastic measures to try to reduce the severity of the outbreak. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tom Westbrook in Sydney Editing by Shri Navaratnam)


FOREX-Dollar soaks up gains in choppy market, sentiment still fragile

TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) - The dollar recouped lost ground on the yen and extended gains against risk currencies on Tuesday, in a choppy trading session that underlined fragile confidence in frazzled markets.

Market liquidity was tight and investors remained nervous after coordinated moves by central banks had spectacularly failed to quell trepidation over the coronavirus pandemic.

The dollar rose 0.8% to 106.69 yen and gained on the euro, pound, as well as the Australian and New Zealand counterparts and most emerging markets' currencies.

Investors and businesses are scrambling for dollars as the outlook grows darker by the day. China has reported a fresh rise in cases. Malaysia is preparing to enter lockdown amid ever tighter measures in Europe and the United States.

Adding to jitters, the Philippines closed its stock market and suspended trade in bonds and currencies. Currency trade is set to resume tomorrow, with the other markets indefinitely shut in a reminder of the risks to liquidity.

"Liquidity is even worse compared with yesterday. Even the gold has been sold sharply," said Kazushige Kaida head of forex at State Street Bank in Tokyo.

"This is a world I have never seen before. This crisis is more incomprehensible than previous crises like the tech bubble burst (in 2000) and the LTCM crisis (in 1998)."

The Australian dollar, seen as sensitive to global growth due to the country's link to commodities, fell 0.7% to a fresh 11-year low of .6065.

The British pound is also under pressure, dogged by worries about not only Britain's exit from the European Union but also its sizable current account deficit.

Sterling traded at $1.2222, down 0.4% and near a five-month low of $1.2203 hit in the previous session.

Investors are also shunning many emerging market currencies.

MSCI emerging market currency index dropped 0.2%, staying at its lowest level since late 2018. The Korean won hit its lowest since 2010.

A rout on Wall Street on Monday stemming from fears over the coronavirus crisis in the West trumped the Federal Reserve's emergency move to slash rates on Sunday.

Investors took the Fed action, joined by central banks in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, as insufficient given the pathogen's breakneck spread across the world which has put many nations on virtual lockdowns.

Some analysts said the hasty moves may have backfired as investors were spooked over the possible panic among policymakers.

"Central banks are pressing the gas pedal to the floor. But the car is bogged down in a quagmire that is called coronavirus, so it won't move forward," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"Until the outbreak stops, for investors, it is time for patience," she said.

There is no clarity on that front, with global cases now rising to 174,100 with 6,700 deaths, prompting countries to shut borders and take increasingly drastic measures to try to reduce the severity of the outbreak. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tom Westbrook in Sydney Editing by Shri Navaratnam)


FOREX-Dollar soaks up gains in choppy market, sentiment still fragile

TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) - The dollar recouped lost ground on the yen and extended gains against risk currencies on Tuesday, in a choppy trading session that underlined fragile confidence in frazzled markets.

Market liquidity was tight and investors remained nervous after coordinated moves by central banks had spectacularly failed to quell trepidation over the coronavirus pandemic.

The dollar rose 0.8% to 106.69 yen and gained on the euro, pound, as well as the Australian and New Zealand counterparts and most emerging markets' currencies.

Investors and businesses are scrambling for dollars as the outlook grows darker by the day. China has reported a fresh rise in cases. Malaysia is preparing to enter lockdown amid ever tighter measures in Europe and the United States.

Adding to jitters, the Philippines closed its stock market and suspended trade in bonds and currencies. Currency trade is set to resume tomorrow, with the other markets indefinitely shut in a reminder of the risks to liquidity.

"Liquidity is even worse compared with yesterday. Even the gold has been sold sharply," said Kazushige Kaida head of forex at State Street Bank in Tokyo.

"This is a world I have never seen before. This crisis is more incomprehensible than previous crises like the tech bubble burst (in 2000) and the LTCM crisis (in 1998)."

The Australian dollar, seen as sensitive to global growth due to the country's link to commodities, fell 0.7% to a fresh 11-year low of .6065.

The British pound is also under pressure, dogged by worries about not only Britain's exit from the European Union but also its sizable current account deficit.

Sterling traded at $1.2222, down 0.4% and near a five-month low of $1.2203 hit in the previous session.

Investors are also shunning many emerging market currencies.

MSCI emerging market currency index dropped 0.2%, staying at its lowest level since late 2018. The Korean won hit its lowest since 2010.

A rout on Wall Street on Monday stemming from fears over the coronavirus crisis in the West trumped the Federal Reserve's emergency move to slash rates on Sunday.

Investors took the Fed action, joined by central banks in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, as insufficient given the pathogen's breakneck spread across the world which has put many nations on virtual lockdowns.

Some analysts said the hasty moves may have backfired as investors were spooked over the possible panic among policymakers.

"Central banks are pressing the gas pedal to the floor. But the car is bogged down in a quagmire that is called coronavirus, so it won't move forward," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"Until the outbreak stops, for investors, it is time for patience," she said.

There is no clarity on that front, with global cases now rising to 174,100 with 6,700 deaths, prompting countries to shut borders and take increasingly drastic measures to try to reduce the severity of the outbreak. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tom Westbrook in Sydney Editing by Shri Navaratnam)


FOREX-Dollar soaks up gains in choppy market, sentiment still fragile

TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) - The dollar recouped lost ground on the yen and extended gains against risk currencies on Tuesday, in a choppy trading session that underlined fragile confidence in frazzled markets.

Market liquidity was tight and investors remained nervous after coordinated moves by central banks had spectacularly failed to quell trepidation over the coronavirus pandemic.

The dollar rose 0.8% to 106.69 yen and gained on the euro, pound, as well as the Australian and New Zealand counterparts and most emerging markets' currencies.

Investors and businesses are scrambling for dollars as the outlook grows darker by the day. China has reported a fresh rise in cases. Malaysia is preparing to enter lockdown amid ever tighter measures in Europe and the United States.

Adding to jitters, the Philippines closed its stock market and suspended trade in bonds and currencies. Currency trade is set to resume tomorrow, with the other markets indefinitely shut in a reminder of the risks to liquidity.

"Liquidity is even worse compared with yesterday. Even the gold has been sold sharply," said Kazushige Kaida head of forex at State Street Bank in Tokyo.

"This is a world I have never seen before. This crisis is more incomprehensible than previous crises like the tech bubble burst (in 2000) and the LTCM crisis (in 1998)."

The Australian dollar, seen as sensitive to global growth due to the country's link to commodities, fell 0.7% to a fresh 11-year low of .6065.

The British pound is also under pressure, dogged by worries about not only Britain's exit from the European Union but also its sizable current account deficit.

Sterling traded at $1.2222, down 0.4% and near a five-month low of $1.2203 hit in the previous session.

Investors are also shunning many emerging market currencies.

MSCI emerging market currency index dropped 0.2%, staying at its lowest level since late 2018. The Korean won hit its lowest since 2010.

A rout on Wall Street on Monday stemming from fears over the coronavirus crisis in the West trumped the Federal Reserve's emergency move to slash rates on Sunday.

Investors took the Fed action, joined by central banks in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, as insufficient given the pathogen's breakneck spread across the world which has put many nations on virtual lockdowns.

Some analysts said the hasty moves may have backfired as investors were spooked over the possible panic among policymakers.

"Central banks are pressing the gas pedal to the floor. But the car is bogged down in a quagmire that is called coronavirus, so it won't move forward," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"Until the outbreak stops, for investors, it is time for patience," she said.

There is no clarity on that front, with global cases now rising to 174,100 with 6,700 deaths, prompting countries to shut borders and take increasingly drastic measures to try to reduce the severity of the outbreak. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tom Westbrook in Sydney Editing by Shri Navaratnam)


FOREX-Dollar soaks up gains in choppy market, sentiment still fragile

TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) - The dollar recouped lost ground on the yen and extended gains against risk currencies on Tuesday, in a choppy trading session that underlined fragile confidence in frazzled markets.

Market liquidity was tight and investors remained nervous after coordinated moves by central banks had spectacularly failed to quell trepidation over the coronavirus pandemic.

The dollar rose 0.8% to 106.69 yen and gained on the euro, pound, as well as the Australian and New Zealand counterparts and most emerging markets' currencies.

Investors and businesses are scrambling for dollars as the outlook grows darker by the day. China has reported a fresh rise in cases. Malaysia is preparing to enter lockdown amid ever tighter measures in Europe and the United States.

Adding to jitters, the Philippines closed its stock market and suspended trade in bonds and currencies. Currency trade is set to resume tomorrow, with the other markets indefinitely shut in a reminder of the risks to liquidity.

"Liquidity is even worse compared with yesterday. Even the gold has been sold sharply," said Kazushige Kaida head of forex at State Street Bank in Tokyo.

"This is a world I have never seen before. This crisis is more incomprehensible than previous crises like the tech bubble burst (in 2000) and the LTCM crisis (in 1998)."

The Australian dollar, seen as sensitive to global growth due to the country's link to commodities, fell 0.7% to a fresh 11-year low of .6065.

The British pound is also under pressure, dogged by worries about not only Britain's exit from the European Union but also its sizable current account deficit.

Sterling traded at $1.2222, down 0.4% and near a five-month low of $1.2203 hit in the previous session.

Investors are also shunning many emerging market currencies.

MSCI emerging market currency index dropped 0.2%, staying at its lowest level since late 2018. The Korean won hit its lowest since 2010.

A rout on Wall Street on Monday stemming from fears over the coronavirus crisis in the West trumped the Federal Reserve's emergency move to slash rates on Sunday.

Investors took the Fed action, joined by central banks in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, as insufficient given the pathogen's breakneck spread across the world which has put many nations on virtual lockdowns.

Some analysts said the hasty moves may have backfired as investors were spooked over the possible panic among policymakers.

"Central banks are pressing the gas pedal to the floor. But the car is bogged down in a quagmire that is called coronavirus, so it won't move forward," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"Until the outbreak stops, for investors, it is time for patience," she said.

There is no clarity on that front, with global cases now rising to 174,100 with 6,700 deaths, prompting countries to shut borders and take increasingly drastic measures to try to reduce the severity of the outbreak. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tom Westbrook in Sydney Editing by Shri Navaratnam)


FOREX-Dollar soaks up gains in choppy market, sentiment still fragile

TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) - The dollar recouped lost ground on the yen and extended gains against risk currencies on Tuesday, in a choppy trading session that underlined fragile confidence in frazzled markets.

Market liquidity was tight and investors remained nervous after coordinated moves by central banks had spectacularly failed to quell trepidation over the coronavirus pandemic.

The dollar rose 0.8% to 106.69 yen and gained on the euro, pound, as well as the Australian and New Zealand counterparts and most emerging markets' currencies.

Investors and businesses are scrambling for dollars as the outlook grows darker by the day. China has reported a fresh rise in cases. Malaysia is preparing to enter lockdown amid ever tighter measures in Europe and the United States.

Adding to jitters, the Philippines closed its stock market and suspended trade in bonds and currencies. Currency trade is set to resume tomorrow, with the other markets indefinitely shut in a reminder of the risks to liquidity.

"Liquidity is even worse compared with yesterday. Even the gold has been sold sharply," said Kazushige Kaida head of forex at State Street Bank in Tokyo.

"This is a world I have never seen before. This crisis is more incomprehensible than previous crises like the tech bubble burst (in 2000) and the LTCM crisis (in 1998)."

The Australian dollar, seen as sensitive to global growth due to the country's link to commodities, fell 0.7% to a fresh 11-year low of .6065.

The British pound is also under pressure, dogged by worries about not only Britain's exit from the European Union but also its sizable current account deficit.

Sterling traded at $1.2222, down 0.4% and near a five-month low of $1.2203 hit in the previous session.

Investors are also shunning many emerging market currencies.

MSCI emerging market currency index dropped 0.2%, staying at its lowest level since late 2018. The Korean won hit its lowest since 2010.

A rout on Wall Street on Monday stemming from fears over the coronavirus crisis in the West trumped the Federal Reserve's emergency move to slash rates on Sunday.

Investors took the Fed action, joined by central banks in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, as insufficient given the pathogen's breakneck spread across the world which has put many nations on virtual lockdowns.

Some analysts said the hasty moves may have backfired as investors were spooked over the possible panic among policymakers.

"Central banks are pressing the gas pedal to the floor. But the car is bogged down in a quagmire that is called coronavirus, so it won't move forward," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"Until the outbreak stops, for investors, it is time for patience," she said.

There is no clarity on that front, with global cases now rising to 174,100 with 6,700 deaths, prompting countries to shut borders and take increasingly drastic measures to try to reduce the severity of the outbreak. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tom Westbrook in Sydney Editing by Shri Navaratnam)


FOREX-Dollar soaks up gains in choppy market, sentiment still fragile

TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) - The dollar recouped lost ground on the yen and extended gains against risk currencies on Tuesday, in a choppy trading session that underlined fragile confidence in frazzled markets.

Market liquidity was tight and investors remained nervous after coordinated moves by central banks had spectacularly failed to quell trepidation over the coronavirus pandemic.

The dollar rose 0.8% to 106.69 yen and gained on the euro, pound, as well as the Australian and New Zealand counterparts and most emerging markets' currencies.

Investors and businesses are scrambling for dollars as the outlook grows darker by the day. China has reported a fresh rise in cases. Malaysia is preparing to enter lockdown amid ever tighter measures in Europe and the United States.

Adding to jitters, the Philippines closed its stock market and suspended trade in bonds and currencies. Currency trade is set to resume tomorrow, with the other markets indefinitely shut in a reminder of the risks to liquidity.

"Liquidity is even worse compared with yesterday. Even the gold has been sold sharply," said Kazushige Kaida head of forex at State Street Bank in Tokyo.

"This is a world I have never seen before. This crisis is more incomprehensible than previous crises like the tech bubble burst (in 2000) and the LTCM crisis (in 1998)."

The Australian dollar, seen as sensitive to global growth due to the country's link to commodities, fell 0.7% to a fresh 11-year low of .6065.

The British pound is also under pressure, dogged by worries about not only Britain's exit from the European Union but also its sizable current account deficit.

Sterling traded at $1.2222, down 0.4% and near a five-month low of $1.2203 hit in the previous session.

Investors are also shunning many emerging market currencies.

MSCI emerging market currency index dropped 0.2%, staying at its lowest level since late 2018. The Korean won hit its lowest since 2010.

A rout on Wall Street on Monday stemming from fears over the coronavirus crisis in the West trumped the Federal Reserve's emergency move to slash rates on Sunday.

Investors took the Fed action, joined by central banks in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, as insufficient given the pathogen's breakneck spread across the world which has put many nations on virtual lockdowns.

Some analysts said the hasty moves may have backfired as investors were spooked over the possible panic among policymakers.

"Central banks are pressing the gas pedal to the floor. But the car is bogged down in a quagmire that is called coronavirus, so it won't move forward," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"Until the outbreak stops, for investors, it is time for patience," she said.

There is no clarity on that front, with global cases now rising to 174,100 with 6,700 deaths, prompting countries to shut borders and take increasingly drastic measures to try to reduce the severity of the outbreak. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tom Westbrook in Sydney Editing by Shri Navaratnam)


FOREX-Dollar soaks up gains in choppy market, sentiment still fragile

TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) - The dollar recouped lost ground on the yen and extended gains against risk currencies on Tuesday, in a choppy trading session that underlined fragile confidence in frazzled markets.

Market liquidity was tight and investors remained nervous after coordinated moves by central banks had spectacularly failed to quell trepidation over the coronavirus pandemic.

The dollar rose 0.8% to 106.69 yen and gained on the euro, pound, as well as the Australian and New Zealand counterparts and most emerging markets' currencies.

Investors and businesses are scrambling for dollars as the outlook grows darker by the day. China has reported a fresh rise in cases. Malaysia is preparing to enter lockdown amid ever tighter measures in Europe and the United States.

Adding to jitters, the Philippines closed its stock market and suspended trade in bonds and currencies. Currency trade is set to resume tomorrow, with the other markets indefinitely shut in a reminder of the risks to liquidity.

"Liquidity is even worse compared with yesterday. Even the gold has been sold sharply," said Kazushige Kaida head of forex at State Street Bank in Tokyo.

"This is a world I have never seen before. This crisis is more incomprehensible than previous crises like the tech bubble burst (in 2000) and the LTCM crisis (in 1998)."

The Australian dollar, seen as sensitive to global growth due to the country's link to commodities, fell 0.7% to a fresh 11-year low of .6065.

The British pound is also under pressure, dogged by worries about not only Britain's exit from the European Union but also its sizable current account deficit.

Sterling traded at $1.2222, down 0.4% and near a five-month low of $1.2203 hit in the previous session.

Investors are also shunning many emerging market currencies.

MSCI emerging market currency index dropped 0.2%, staying at its lowest level since late 2018. The Korean won hit its lowest since 2010.

A rout on Wall Street on Monday stemming from fears over the coronavirus crisis in the West trumped the Federal Reserve's emergency move to slash rates on Sunday.

Investors took the Fed action, joined by central banks in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, as insufficient given the pathogen's breakneck spread across the world which has put many nations on virtual lockdowns.

Some analysts said the hasty moves may have backfired as investors were spooked over the possible panic among policymakers.

"Central banks are pressing the gas pedal to the floor. But the car is bogged down in a quagmire that is called coronavirus, so it won't move forward," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"Until the outbreak stops, for investors, it is time for patience," she said.

There is no clarity on that front, with global cases now rising to 174,100 with 6,700 deaths, prompting countries to shut borders and take increasingly drastic measures to try to reduce the severity of the outbreak. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tom Westbrook in Sydney Editing by Shri Navaratnam)


FOREX-Dollar soaks up gains in choppy market, sentiment still fragile

TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) - The dollar recouped lost ground on the yen and extended gains against risk currencies on Tuesday, in a choppy trading session that underlined fragile confidence in frazzled markets.

Market liquidity was tight and investors remained nervous after coordinated moves by central banks had spectacularly failed to quell trepidation over the coronavirus pandemic.

The dollar rose 0.8% to 106.69 yen and gained on the euro, pound, as well as the Australian and New Zealand counterparts and most emerging markets' currencies.

Investors and businesses are scrambling for dollars as the outlook grows darker by the day. China has reported a fresh rise in cases. Malaysia is preparing to enter lockdown amid ever tighter measures in Europe and the United States.

Adding to jitters, the Philippines closed its stock market and suspended trade in bonds and currencies. Currency trade is set to resume tomorrow, with the other markets indefinitely shut in a reminder of the risks to liquidity.

"Liquidity is even worse compared with yesterday. Even the gold has been sold sharply," said Kazushige Kaida head of forex at State Street Bank in Tokyo.

"This is a world I have never seen before. This crisis is more incomprehensible than previous crises like the tech bubble burst (in 2000) and the LTCM crisis (in 1998)."

The Australian dollar, seen as sensitive to global growth due to the country's link to commodities, fell 0.7% to a fresh 11-year low of .6065.

The British pound is also under pressure, dogged by worries about not only Britain's exit from the European Union but also its sizable current account deficit.

Sterling traded at $1.2222, down 0.4% and near a five-month low of $1.2203 hit in the previous session.

Investors are also shunning many emerging market currencies.

MSCI emerging market currency index dropped 0.2%, staying at its lowest level since late 2018. The Korean won hit its lowest since 2010.

A rout on Wall Street on Monday stemming from fears over the coronavirus crisis in the West trumped the Federal Reserve's emergency move to slash rates on Sunday.

Investors took the Fed action, joined by central banks in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere, as insufficient given the pathogen's breakneck spread across the world which has put many nations on virtual lockdowns.

Some analysts said the hasty moves may have backfired as investors were spooked over the possible panic among policymakers.

"Central banks are pressing the gas pedal to the floor. But the car is bogged down in a quagmire that is called coronavirus, so it won't move forward," said Ayako Sera, market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.

"Until the outbreak stops, for investors, it is time for patience," she said.

There is no clarity on that front, with global cases now rising to 174,100 with 6,700 deaths, prompting countries to shut borders and take increasingly drastic measures to try to reduce the severity of the outbreak. (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo and Tom Westbrook in Sydney Editing by Shri Navaratnam)



Comments:

  1. Ball

    It is also possible on this issue, because only in a dispute can the truth be achieved. :)

  2. Lahab

    the Competent point of view, cognitively.

  3. Ghazal

    Absolutely, yes

  4. Junris

    I consider, that you are mistaken. Let's discuss this. Email me at PM.



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