The dollar rebounded from a near three-month low against a basket of currencies on Monday after optimism over the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine and approached technical support levels that, if breached, could herald further dollar weakness.
In late U.S. trading, the dollar index.DXY was up 0.10% at 92.52, having hit an intraday high of 92.81 after hitting its lowest level since Sept. 1 at 92.01. The dollar index fell 0.4 per cent last week.
The dollar had weakened as risk appetite increased. Astrazeneca had said its vaccine was likely to be about 90 per cent effective and would be ready to submit data to governments around the world, which have developed frameworks for conditional or pre-approved vaccines.
“At least for now, the news from Astrazeneca has helped allay concerns about the economic impact of the growing restrictions,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington.
Still, Manimbo said, “the persistent downside threat to economic growth could help slow the dollar’s decline.”
Investors are weighing the possibility of introducing coVID-19 vaccines more closely as worsening us economic data and an increase in coVID-19 cases again lead to business closures.
Analysts said the index was only hovering above technical support around 92, and a complete break below that level could trigger fresh weakness.
Matthew Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak in New York, said he would wait for confirmation that the dollar had fallen below 92, which could trigger further dollar declines. He added that if the index fell significantly below that level, it would be very negative for the dollar.
Analysts at Brown Brothers Harriman said if the index breaks below its September low, it may have little support until it hits its lowest point since February 2018.
The Reuters dollar index showed the greenback falling to a more than two-year low of 91.737 on September 1. In February 2018, the number dropped to 88.251, the lowest level since December 2014.
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has chosen former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to be Treasury secretary, people familiar with the matter said Monday.
Mr. Biden’s choice of former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary was seen as a victory for the markets because the former fed chair should focus on fixing the economy rather than the Progressive Democratic agenda that some investors had feared.
The first female head of the Federal Reserve will also become the first female Treasury secretary and will face unprecedented unemployment and record debt levels as the government spends more money to reverse the effects of the epidemic under a Biden administration.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 327.80 points, or 1.12%, at 29591.27. The S&P 500 ended up 20.10 points, or 0.56%, at 3,577.60. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 25.70 points, or 0.22%, at 11,880.63.
The Dow Jones industrial Average hit an intraday high and financial stocks hit new highs for the day on news that Mr Biden plans to nominate Ms Yellen. As fed chair from 2014 to 2018, Ms Yellen oversaw a steady expansion of the economy. During his tenure, interest rates stayed low and the S&P 500 rose nearly 60 per cent.
Alli McCartney of UBS Wealth Management says: “[Ms Yellen] is a big name and her extensive experience at the Fed highlights that. I am not surprised that the market has responded positively to this choice as it is reassuring, especially given the challenges ahead, including avoiding a double-dip recession and putting people back to work at a time of rising confirmed COVID-19 cases.”
“To me, it shows that Joe Biden is taking this very seriously and is definitely not pandering to the left. She’s a very serious economic thinker and they have some very serious issues to deal with, “said Barry Knapp, Director of Ironsides Macroeconomic Research.
Mr Knapp said: “There are too many outcomes for the banking industry that could have been worse. To me, the real risk of appointing a finance minister is that you might find someone who is tough on banking. One concern for the markets is that Mr. Biden could nominate someone like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Massachusetts). She was very vocal about regulating Banks.”
In the U.S. presidential election, Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in the Race for President in Michigan on Monday, according to the Capitol. The report said it was “another blow to Trump.”
Separately, CNN received a letter from Director Murphy on Monday afternoon saying the GSA had informed ‘President-elect’ Biden that the agency was ready to begin a formal transition process.
Mr Trump later tweeted that he thanked Ms Murphy for her dedication and loyalty to his country and said she had been “threatened and harassed”.
“Our lawsuit continues and we will continue to work tirelessly. I believe we will win!” “Trump wrote in a tweet.