U.S. dollar drifts as markets look for certainty on United States stimulus

24 Octobre, 2020, 21:25 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Dollar rises from 7-week lows on US stimulus unease, COVID-19 cases

The dollar index ticked higher on Thursday, easing off a seven-week low as hopes for a coronavirus aid package ahead of the US elections faded and COVID-19 cases surged around the world, giving a slight bid to safe-haven assets like the greenback.

On Wednesday, the US dollar weakened to a seven-week low after US President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi boosted hopes an agreement on stimulus was close, sparking demand for riskier assets.

But prospects remain dim for the Republican-controlled Senate to approve any aid before the Nov 3 election, as President Trump accused Democrats of being unwilling to craft an acceptable compromise on stimulus.

"There are a host of risk events that you could argue threatens risk assets and those threats should support the dollar", said MUFG's head of research, Derek Halpenny.

In early London trade, the dollar index =USD was a touch lower against a basket of currencies at 92.612, but holding above its lowest level since September 2 hit Wednesday.

The euro edged 0.16% lower against the USA dollar to US$1.8420, a fraction below a one-month high of US$1.8805 hit on Wednesday.

The US dollar was firmer against Japan's currency at 104.73 yen, above a one-month low hit during the previous session at 104.345.

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News that Europe has seen the number of coronavirus cases surge to a record high, with Spain becoming the first Western European country to exceed 1 million infections, added to the cautious tone in world markets.

Analysts said the USA dollar was also pressured by a surge in currencies such as the sterling, which jumped to a six-week high overnight after Britain's chief Brexit negotiator said talks with the European Union will resume on Thursday afternoon.

Globally, gold prices dipped, weighed by a stronger dollar, as investors kept a close watch on the final USA presidential election debate and sought further clarity on a coronavirus aid package. The British pound was last down 0.47% at $1.3082 GBP=D3 .

The Australian dollar AUD=D3 was 0.1% softer versus the greenback, while the New Zealand dollar was a touch firmer at $0.6664 NZD= - up from the $0.6551 low touched on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, the Chinese yuan retreated from a 27-month high hit a day earlier on signs the authorities have become increasingly wary over the currency's recent rapid gains.

The offshore Chinese yuan was last down 0.4 per cent at 6.6724 per United States dollar.

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