Market Overview

U.S. dollar rises on coronavirus surge, U.S. stimulus worries

The U.S. dollar gained on Monday, rising for a second straight session, bolstered by safe haven bids amid surging coronavirus cases in Europe and the United States as well as a lack of progress on a U.S. stimulus package. The United States has recorded its highest number of new COVID-19 cases for two consecutive days and so has France. Spain announced a new state of emergency and Italy has ordered restaurants and bars to shut by 6 p.m.

On the stimulus front, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday she expected a White House response on Monday to the latest relief plan, but there is little evidence a deal is close.

Media reports that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has proved successful in elderly people and that staff at a major British hospital were told to prepare for it as early as next month were not enough to bolster sentiment.

An index tracking the U.S. dollar against a basket of six major currencies was last up 0.2% at 93.024. The euro, which has the largest percentage share of the dollar index, fell 0.3% to $1.1820. It has slipped earlier by half a percent after the German Ifo business climate index fell for the first time in six months in October. The dollar also rose 0.2% against the Japanese yen to 104.95.

Speculators remain short the U.S. dollar, the latest data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed, though the number of shorting contracts declined in the last couple of weeks.

On Monday, however, the spread between the U.S. two-year and U.S. 10-year notes narrowed to 65 basis points, after hitting its widest gap since early June. The U.S. dollar rose 0.5% against the Chinese yuan in the offshore market to 6.703, in a sign of caution as the Chinese government began discussions on its next five-year plan.

The Aussie dollar was last flat at 0.7138. The crown was down 0.2% at 9.2520 against the dollar, having seen nearly 1% drop earlier and stabilised against the euro at 10.9410. The British pound also fell 0.2% against the dollar to $1.3016.

U.S. dollar rises on coronavirus surge, U.S. stimulus worries, Reuters, Oct 26

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