Dollar stuck near one-month low amid subdued US yields

Reuters TOKYO | Updated on April 19, 2021

Greenback weighed down by improved risk sentiment as stocks rally globally

The dollar was pinned near a one-month low to major peers on Monday, with Treasury yields hovering near the lowest in five weeks, after the US Federal Reserve reiterated its view that any spike in inflation was likely to be temporary.

The safe-haven greenback was also held down by improved risk sentiment amid a rally in global stocks to record highs. Bitcoin nursed losses from Sunday, when it plunged by as much as 14 per cent to $51,541, which a report attributed to news of a power outage in China. It last traded around $57,020. The dollar index, which tracks the currency against six rivals, was at 91.684, not far from the low of 91.484 marked last week, a level not seen since March 18.

The greenback bought 108.74 yen, near the lowest since March 24. The euro changed hands at $1.19565, near the highest since March 4. "The fixed income market will dominate my world this week," with the risk currently skewed to further yield declines,pressuring the dollar, Chris Weston, head of research at Pepperstone Markets Ltd, a foreign exchange broker based in Melbourne, wrote in a client note.

“Wall Street's gains amid low volatility "should keep USD rallies contained and attract further USD sellers," he wrote. Benchmark 10-year yields could fall to as low as1.47 per cent, from around 1.56 per cent currently, according to Weston. Key technical points are 91.30, the March 18 low, for the dollar index, and $1.2000 for euro, which could trigger a run to $1.22, he said. The 10-year Treasury yield sank to as low as 1.5280 per cent last week, from a more-than-one-year high of 1.7760 per cent at the end of last month, reducing the appeal of the United States as an investment.

The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Friday, extending a rally in global stocks. Fed Governor Christopher Waller said on CNBC on Friday that the US economy "is ready to rip" as vaccinations continue and activity picks up, but a rise in inflation is likely to be transitory, echoing comments from other Fed officials including Chair Jerome Powell over the past week. Bitcoin continued its retreat from the record high of $64,895.22 reached on April 14 with its weekend plunge.

Data website CoinMarketCap cited a blackout in China’s Xinjiang region, which reportedly powers a lot of bitcoin mining, for the selloff.

Analysts at National Australia Bank cited "speculation in several online reports" that the US Treasury may crack down on money laundering within digital currencies for the sharp move lower. The bitcoin rout also followed a decision on Friday by Turkey's central bank to ban the use of cryptocurrencies for purchases. Despite recent weakness, the world's most popular cryptocurrency remains up 97 per cent in 2021, after more than quadrupling last year.

Published on April 19, 2021

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