Dollar buoyed by U.S. recovery hopes, bitcoin near record $52,640
By Kevin Buckland TOKYO (Reuters) - The dollar held ground on Thursday after its first back-to-back gains in two weeks as upbeat data bolstered expectations for the U.S. to recover from the pandemic faster than most of its peers. Bitcoin traded just shy of the new record high of $52,640 reached overnight, with its roughly 58% surge this month prompting some analysts to warn that the rally might be unsustainable.
By Kevin Buckland
TOKYO (Reuters) - The dollar held ground on Thursday after its first back-to-back gains in two weeks as upbeat data bolstered expectations for the U.S. to recover from the pandemic faster than most of its peers.
Bitcoin traded just shy of the new record high of $52,640 reached overnight, with its roughly 58% surge this month prompting some analysts to warn that the rally might be unsustainable.
Stimulus cheques helped U.S. retail sales to rebound sharply in January, while industrial output and producer prices data also provided robust upside surprises.
Investors expect a further boost from Joe Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-relief package, with the president meeting top labour leaders on Wednesday to drum up support for the plan.
Meanwhile, minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting last month reinforced the central bank's willingness to let the economy run hot while keeping monetary settings ultra-accommodative.
"Biden's stimulus plans, a steep decline in new infections and rapid vaccine rollout leave the U.S. well positioned to recover sooner than most," Westpac strategists wrote in a client note.
"That will generate periodic bouts of USD upside."
However, like many analysts, Westpac's team expects the dollar to decline this year, weighed by the Fed's relentless money printing.
The dollar index was little changed at 90.89 early Thursday in Asia after strengthening 0.2% overnight and 0.4% on Tuesday.
The gauge has gained about 1% this year, rebounding from an almost 7% slide in 2020 that extended to a 2-1/2-year low of 89.206 in early January.
Westpac recommends fresh dollar index shorts on rallies toward 91.0.
The euro was little changed at $1.2046 after sliding 0.5% overnight, the most in two weeks.
The dollar was almost flat at 105.875 yen, following a pullback Wednesday after reaching a five-month high of 106.225.
Onshore trading of the Chinese yuan resumes Thursday following Lunar New Year holidays.
(Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Sam Holmes)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
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