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Dollar rises as markets adjust to vaccine hope and higher yields

12 November 2020

The U.S. dollar rose and the safe-haven yen weakened again on Wednesday as the markets continued to adjust to higher interest rates and prospects for economic growth following news on Monday of encouraging results for a coronavirus vaccine.

The euro fell to its lowest level against the dollar in a week as yields on U.S. bonds rise compared with those on European bonds. And, the New Zealand dollar soared to its strongest in a year and a half as traders scaled back bets that the central bank there would move to negative interest rates.

The dollar has started moving up with gains in equities in a switch from its safe-haven status during the COVID-19 crisis when it tended to move in the opposite direction, said Erik Nelson, macro strategist at Wells Fargo Securities.

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes rose to 0.972% on Wednesday, up from 0.82% on Friday. The dollar was up 0.5% on Wednesday against a basket of currencies after a flat day on Tuesday and a rise of 0.5% on Monday.

Tuesday’s pause in the dollar’s move showed continued restraint and caution about how beneficial the new vaccine will be and when. Coronavirus cases are increasing daily in the U.S. and Europe. 

The euro was down 0.5% on the day to $1.175 against the dollar. The U.S. dollar rose 0.3% to 105.59 versus the Japanese yen. The dollar gained 0.7% against the trade-sensitive Norwegian crown to 9.087. The Aussie dollar fell 0.3% to 0.7263.

Sentiment for the dollar got a boost on Monday after Pfizer Inc and BioNTech said on Monday their experimental coronavirus vaccine was 90% effective.



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