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Markets

Dollar rises on safe-haven bid, stocks mixed

  • Crude rose after a hard fall on Monday while stocks in Europe and Wall Street offset most of the losses elsewhere.
  • Sterling took a hit after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Britons to go back to working from home.
22 Sep 2020

NEW YORK: The US dollar continued to rise on Tuesday and stocks were mixed as new economic curbs to control the spread of COVID-19 raised the fear of a second wave of lockdowns that could reverse the nascent economic rebound.

Crude rose after a hard fall on Monday while stocks in Europe and Wall Street offset most of the losses elsewhere. The dollar index was having its strongest two-day run since April.

Sterling took a hit after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Britons to go back to working from home, along with new curbs on pubs, bars and restaurants that he said could be in place for as long as six months without some form of vaccine.

"As we all know the virus doesn't live in a vacuum and what you see in one country or region will affect other places. Economically it could have an effect," said Minh Trang, senior FX trader at Silicon Valley Bank.

"Typically when there's some fear in the market and some unknowns, investors would flow toward the dollar as a temporary safe haven."

The dollar index rose 0.468%, with the euro down 0.55% to $1.1704.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.36% versus the greenback at 105.03 per dollar, while Sterling was last trading at $1.2719, down 0.74% on the day.

The risk off sentiment was not enough to drag US stocks into the red, but it did put a lid on gains that follow a sharp drop in equities on Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 26.74 points, or 0.1%, to 27,120.96, the S&P 500 gained 12.17 points, or 0.37%, to 3,293.23 and the Nasdaq Composite added 76.26 points, or 0.71%, to 10,855.06.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.20% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.01%.

Emerging market stocks lost 0.85%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 1.11% lower.

US Treasury debt yields edged lower, with benchmark 10-year notes last up 1/32 in price to yield 0.6675%, from 0.671% late on Monday.

Oil prices rose as analysts took the view that renewed lockdown restrictions would have only a limited impact on fuel demand, partly reversing a steep drop in prices the previous day.

US crude recently rose 0.56% to $39.53 per barrel and Brent was at $41.74, up 0.72% on the day.

Spot gold dropped 0.5% to $1,902.56 an ounce.