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The British pound fell against the euro and dollar on Monday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized due to relentless symptoms of COVID-19.
The yen fell against the dollar after news that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may declare a state of emergency due to fast-rising cases in the country.
The dollar was on the defensive against the euro after US companies laid off employees last week, increasing risks of a global economic recession.
Prime Minister Johnson’s hospitalization could cause worry to investors holding assets in pounds, said chief currency strategist Masafumi Yamamoto of Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.
The pound dropped 0.26%, at 1.2242 against the dollar and fell 0.27%, at 88.39 pence per euro.
The Chinese yuan steadied at 7.1134 against the dollar in the offshore market. China’s markets are closed on Monday for a public holiday.
The yen fell 0.4%, at $108.93. It also slid against the euro and New Zealand and Australian dollars.
The total coronavirus cases globally reached 1 million with a death toll of 68,000. Many sectors of the global economy were paralyzed amid measures to contain the pandemic.