Dollar down over hopes for low U.S. interest rates

by Jonathan Adams

The Fed is due to release the minutes from its December meeting on Wednesday

The dollar was down on Monday morning in Asia, with investors continuing to put pressure on the safe-haven asset on the first trading day of 2021. Expectations that U.S. interest rates will remain low and hopes for an eventual global economic recovery from COVID-19 will likely continue to slow the dollar down against other major currencies.

The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies was down 0.25% to 89.677, slightly below 89.766, where it ended 2020.

Trade is still thin as investors return from the holiday season, but some short sellers were already betting against the greenback and reversing the small bounce it enjoyed on the last trading day of 2020 when profit-taking lent support.

The Federal Reserve is due to release the minutes from its December meeting on Wednesday. Investors will be looking for more detail on the discussions about making their forward policy guidance more explicit and the chance of a further increase in asset buying in 2021.

The USD/JPY pair edged down 0.13% to 103.06. Japanese media reported that a state of emergency is being considered for Tokyo and could be declared within the week. With the city dealing with record levels of infections, investors will pay close attention to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s news conference to mark the start of 2021, due to take place later in the day.

The AUD/USD pair edged up 0.16% to 0.7716 and the NZD/USD pair inched up 0.03% to 0.7199. The news from Japan saw the risk-sensitive Antipodean currencies steady after unwinding what would have been small earlier gains.

The GBP/USD pair inched up 0.09% to 1.3683. The pound also saw its gains capped as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase and U.K Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned on Sunday that tougher restrictions were likely on the way to curb the surge.

Across the Atlantic, all eyes are on the Jan. 5 runoff vote in the U.S. state of Georgia, which will determine which party controls the Senate and how successfully President-elect Joe Biden can implement his agenda.

This article is for information purposes only.
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