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Dollar backed by hopes of US recovery, bitcoin near record $ 52,640

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TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar held firm on Thursday after its first consecutive gains in two weeks, as bullish data bolstered expectations that the U.S. economy would recover from the coronavirus pandemic faster than most of its peers .

FILE PHOTO: US dollar bills are seen in front of the stock chart displayed in this illustration taken February 8, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

Bitcoin traded just ahead of the new all-time high of $ 52,640 hit overnight, rising around 58% this month, prompting some analysts to warn that the rally could be unsustainable.

Government stimulus helped US retail sales rebound strongly in January, while industrial production data and producer prices also provided solid upside surprises.

Investors expect further impetus from Joe Bidens, who has proposed a $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, with the president meeting with key labor leaders on Wednesday to gain support for the plan .

Meanwhile, the minutes of the Federal Reserve Policy Meeting last month reinforced central banks’ willingness to let the economy warm up while maintaining ultra-accommodative monetary parameters.

Bidens’ stimulus plans, a sharp drop in new infections and the rapid rollout of vaccines leave the United States well positioned to recover sooner than most, Westpac strategists wrote in a client note.

This will generate periodic episodes of the USD rising.

However, like many analysts, the Westpacs team expects the dollar to decline this year, weighed on by the impressive money printing from the federal government.

The dollar index was little changed at 90.943 on Thursday in Asia after rising 0.2% overnight and 0.4% on Tuesday.

The gauge has gained around 1% this year, rebounding from an almost 7% decline in 2020 that extended to a 2-1 / 2 year low of 89.206 in early January.

Westpac recommends further shorts on the dollar index on rallies towards 91.0.

The euro was little changed at $ 1.20385 after slipping 0.5% overnight, the most in two weeks.

The dollar was almost flat at 105.845 yen, following a pullback on Wednesday after hitting a five-month high at 106.225.

T-bill yields have given the dollar a boost in recent days, with the yield on the benchmark 10-year note rising to 1.333% overnight, from 1.20% at the end of the last week. It fell in Asia on Thursday to 1.2669%.

Rising US yields have kept the dollar from falling for now, said Osamu Takashima, Tokyo-based G10 FX Strategy Manager at Citigroup Global Markets Japan.

Longer term, we remain bearish on the US dollar: we anticipate a risky environment globally and under such circumstances, we believe that the downward pressure on the US dollar could revive.

Takashima expects the dollar to rise to as high as 107 yen before falling to 102 over the next three months.

Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Sam Holmes and Kim Coghill

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