NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar slipped for a sixth consecutive session on Thursday, after trading higher for most of the day, following reports that Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate agreed to resume negotiations on another coronavirus stimulus package.
CNBC reported that Senate top Democrat Chuck Schumer said Thursday that Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had agreed to resume COVID-19 relief talks as cases escalated across the country. country.
The report led stocks to rebound, pushed the euro to a session high against the dollar, and cut losses in currencies that benefit from a higher risk appetite, such as the Australian dollar and the Norwegian crown.
Before the US election on November 3, financial markets had been riveted by the back and forth of lawmakers during stimulus talks. Ultimately, investors resigned themselves to the fact that any stimulus package would be passed after President-elect Joe Biden took office in January.
“The euro hit a low against the dollar a few hours ago and technically, when we went above $ 1.1850 the rise accelerated,” said Marc Chandler, chief strategist of market at Bannockburn Forex.
“I think the market is relatively thin and when the news from Schumer hit it opened the door again. The market is always sensitive to news about the recovery, ”he added.
As of late afternoon, an index that tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies was down 0.2% to 92.299 = USD.
The dollar, however, remains caught in a tussle between the optimistic outlook stemming from the positive vaccine news and the relentless rise in coronavirus infections that have forced localized lockdowns around the world.
The surge in coronavirus cases is believed to be positive for the safe haven dollar.
The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 250,000 on Wednesday as New York City’s public school system, the nation’s largest, halted in-person teaching, citing increased rates of infection.
The euro rose 0.2% against the dollar to $ 1.1875 EUR = EBS.
With fiscal stimulus plans still uncertain, speculation is growing that the Federal Reserve could ease monetary policy further in December.
Two Fed officials offered to do more on Wednesday, and Treasuries rallied in anticipation of a possible expansion in U.S. central bank bond purchases.
The dollar was little changed against the yen at 103.81 yen JPY = EBS. The yen has gained around 1.4% since Pfizer Inc PFE.N has announced promising trial results for its COVID-19 vaccine.
The greenback showed little reaction after the Department of Labor reported that weekly jobless claims in the United States rose to 742,000 seasonally adjusted for the week ended November 14. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 707,000 claims for the past week.
Elsewhere, the pound fell 0.2% to $ 1.3255 GBP = D3 against the dollar after the Times newspaper reported that EU leaders would urge the European Commission to release no-deal Brexit plans as the year-end deadline approaches.
Bitcoin BTC = BTSP, meanwhile, rose 1.2% Thursday to $ 18,004, not far from the all-time high of nearly $ 20,000 reached three years ago.
Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfyss; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Paul Simao