CURRENCIES

Dollar roughly flat but close to 4-month highs on economic optimism

Published Mon, Mar 29, 2021 · 05:50 AM

New York

THE dollar was roughly flat against major currencies on Friday, but still near four-month peaks, on continued optimism about the US economy, and came close to surpassing a 10-month high against the Japanese yen.

Against a basket of six major currencies, the greenback stood at 92.7200, on track to close out the week with a gain of about 0.7 per cent. It was shrugging off data showing that consumer spending recently fell.

The dollar-yen also rose as high as 109.80, roughly the highest since June. Late on Friday, it was at 109.6400.

"The dollar has gotten a second wind," said Minh Trang, senior foreign exchange trader at Silicon Valley Bank, adding that the upward trend in the greenback "will come in spurts as bull markets do".

Yields on US Treasuries rose but held below one-year highs reached the week before. US jobless claims fell to a one-year low and President Joe Biden said he would double his vaccination plan after reaching his previous goal of 100 million shots 42 days ahead of schedule, both of which support optimism about the dollar.

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The euro managed to claw back ground from Thursday's four-month low, though the common currency is still bruised by doubts over the slow pace of vaccinations and rising infections.

In a boost for the euro, business morale in the euro zone's biggest economy Germany hit its highest level in almost two years in March as rising demand for manufactured goods kept factories humming.

Elsewhere, bitcoin gained more than 4 per cent, helping recover some of its pullback from a record high of almost US$62,000 touched earlier this month. It was last up 4.50 per cent at US$53,654. REUTERS

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