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Dollar gains as selling takes a pause; downtrend is alive and well - Metro US

Dollar gains as selling takes a pause; downtrend is alive and well

Pound and U.S. dollar bills are seen in this illustration

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The dollar edged higher on Tuesday in choppy trading, taking a breather from a sell-off that took it to its lowest level in more than 2-1/2 years last week, while sterling slipped as investors awaited the outcome of Brexit trade-deal talks.

An index tracking the dollar’s value rose 0.1% to 90.95. So far this year, the dollar was down nearly 6%, on pace for its weakest yearly performance since 2017.

“The monetary and fiscal stimuli we’re seeing is going to reflate the world and that leads to a weaker dollar and should be good for risk and emerging market currencies,” said Axel Merk, president and chief investment officer at Merk Investments, which oversees $1 billion in assets.

Positive vaccine news from Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer Inc on Tuesday supported equities and lifted risk appetite, but the dollar held its own. [.N]

Upbeat economic sentiment data from Germany lifted the euro earlier in the session, but it was last flat to slightly lower at $1.2104.

German investor sentiment soared more than expected in December on expectations that vaccines against the coronavirus would boost the outlook for Europe’s largest economy.

The ZEW economic research institute said its survey of investors’ economic sentiment moved up to 55.0 from 39.0 in the previous month. A Reuters poll had forecast a reading of 45.5.

So far this year, the euro has gained roughly 8% versus the greenback.

Dominic Bunning, head of European FX Research, at HSBC wrote in his latest research note, that the euro’s strength, which has been more aggressive than in the summer, could be problematic for the European Central Bank.

“A stronger currency tightens financial conditions, which is incredibly unhelpful for an economy facing persistent disinflationary pressures,” Bunning said.

The ECB holds its monetary policy meeting on Thursday.

Investors, meanwhile, continued to focus on Brexit trade deal talks.

With only three weeks to go for Britain to fully complete its exit from the European Union, leaders have failed to narrow differences on a post-Brexit trade deal.

The pound though trimmed earlier losses and briefly popped into positive territory after Britain said it had clinched a deal with the European Union over how to manage the Ireland-Northern Ireland border.[GBP/]

Against the dollar, the pound was last down 0.2% at $1.3354. It was also 0.1% lower against the euro, which rose to 90.63 pence .

Implied volatility on the pound – a measure of expected future swings in the currency – hit eight-month highs, a sign that traders were preparing for gyrations.

The dollar was up 0.1% against the yen at 104.16 yen, but fell 0.2% versus the Swiss franc to 0.8893 franc.

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Currency bid prices at 3:13PM (2013 GMT)

Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change

Session

Dollar index 90.9660 90.8790 +0.11% +0.00% +91.0180 +90.7500

Euro/Dollar $1.2102 $1.2109 -0.05% +7.95% +1.2134 +1.2096

Dollar/Yen 104.1650 104.0700 +0.09% -4.10% +104.2000 +104.0300

Euro/Yen 126.05 125.99 +0.05% +3.36% +126.2500 +125.8700

Dollar/Swiss 0.8892 0.8909 -0.17% -8.09% +0.8914 +0.8882

Sterling/Dollar 1.3347 1.3383 -0.25% +0.65% +1.3391 +1.3289

Dollar/Canadian 1.2816 1.2800 +0.13% -1.34% +1.2825 +1.2769

Aussie/Dollar 0.7404 0.7419 -0.20% +5.53% +0.7435 +0.7400

Euro/Swiss 1.0762 1.0785 -0.21% -0.83% +1.0799 +1.0760

Euro/Sterling 0.9066 0.9049 +0.19% +7.22% +0.9116 +0.9051

NZ 0.7036 0.7042 -0.07% +4.58% +0.7053 +0.7023

Dollar/Dollar

Dollar/Norway 8.7705 8.7515 +0.05% -0.18% +8.7900 +8.7250

Euro/Norway 10.6167 10.5853 +0.30% +7.92% +10.6430 +10.5779

Dollar/Sweden 8.4771 8.3959 +0.86% -9.31% +8.4934 +8.3910

Euro/Sweden 10.2593 10.1723 +0.86% -2.00% +10.2815 +10.1675

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Chizu Nomiyama)

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