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Markets

Dollar stuck near 3-month lows, bitcoin struggles

  • The dollar index hovered around the 90 mark, broadly flat on the day and close to a three-month low of 89.646 hit on Friday.
24 May 2021

LONDON: The dollar was pinned near three-month lows against a basket of major currencies on Monday, as bets on a robust global economic recovery continued to support currencies seen as riskier.

The dollar index hovered around the 90 mark, broadly flat on the day and close to a three-month low of 89.646 hit on Friday.

The greenback, seen as a safe haven trade, has steadily retreated over the past two months as optimism has built about the global economic outlook.

Stock markets across Europe opened up on Monday, closing in on record highs.

Currency analysts were already looking ahead to key U.S. personal consumption and inflation figures due Friday for any warning signs that U.S. inflation could be gathering pace and putting pressure on the Federal Reserve to taper policy.

Traders are also watching for progress on a new stimulus package in the United States, after the White House pared down its infrastructure bill to $1.7 trillion on Friday but failed to gain Senate Republican backing.

Among the currencies gaining on the dollar was the euro, up around 0.2% above $1.22. The single currency has gained around 4% on the greenback over the past three months.

"Although the U.S. led in economic reopenings in the first quarter, Europe is catching up and has further room for improvement, supporting the euro," said Jun Arachi, currency strategist at Rakuten Securities.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin rebounded by around 5% to trade above $36,000, but is still well down after crashing in recent days, falling as much as 17% to $31,107 on Sunday.

Bitcoin halved in value just weeks after April's record peak of $64,895, undermining the case for its mainstream acceptance.

Cryptocurrencies have tumbled after Elon Musk's Tesla said it will stop accepting bitcoin for car purchases and after China further clamped down on them.

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