Forex

Dollar dithers in thin trade as Trump passes pandemic aid package

Reuters TOKYO | Updated on December 28, 2020

Shutdown averted in the US, as Trump relents on threat to block bill

The dollar shrugged off news of President Trump relenting on a threat to block a Covid-19 aid bill in thin trading on Monday with many investors on holiday.

The pound hovered below a two-and-a-half-year high in the Asian session following the agreement last week of a narrow Brexit trade deal that does not cover Britain's financial sector.

The dollar index was little changed at 90.224, following a three-day slide. Sterling added 0.1 per cent to $1.3544, treading water below the two-and-a-half-year high of $1.3625 hit earlier this month. Trump signed into law the $2.3 trillion pandemic aid and spending package, officials said on Sunday night, averting a partial federal government shutdown. Earlier he had cryptically tweeted, "Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!" He had previously demanded an increase in stimulus checks for struggling Americans to$2,000 from $600.

The euro slipped 0.1 per cent to $1.2199, further retreating from the two-and-a-half-year high of $1.2273 touched this month. While last week's Brexit deal came as a relief to investors, the bare-bones nature of the pact leaves Britain far more detached from the EU, analysts say, suggesting the discount that has dogged UK assets since 2016 will not vanish soon. Brussels has made no decision yet on whether to grant Britain access to the bloc's financial market.

Mitsuo Imaizumi, chief FX strategist at Daiwa Securities inTokyo, expects the pound and euro to decline against the dollar, reaching $1.30 and $1.15 respectively by the end of the summer. “Regardless of the Brexit deal, cable will be down,” hesaid. “It’s buy the rumour, sell the fact.”

The dollar was little changed at 103.63 yen. Policy makers at Japan's central were divided on how far they should go in examining yield curve control with some calling fora comprehensive review of the framework, a summary of opinions voiced at the December rate review showed on Monday.

Published on December 28, 2020

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