Investing.com – The dollar was down on Thursday morning in Asia but still near a multi-month high as investor bets on faster U.S. economic growth continued thanks to fiscal stimulus measures and as more Americans get inoculated against COVID-19.
The U.S. Dollar Index that tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies inched down 0.02% to 93.213 by 10:09 PM ET (2:09 AM GMT), after reaching a five-month high of 93.43 during the previous session.
The USD/JPY pair inched down 0.02% to 110.68. Japan’s Tankan large manufacturers index was at 5 for the first quarter of 2021, above the –15 in forecasts prepared by Investing.com and the –10 reading in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Tankan large non-manufacturers index also exceeded expectations, reading –1 against the –5 reading in Investing.com forecasts and the fourth quarter of 2020.
The USD/CNY pair edged up 0.20% to 6.5650. China released a disappointing Caixin Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) earlier in the day, which read 50.6 for March.
The GBP/USD pair inched up 0.05% to 1.3786.
The euro was trading at $1.1726 after hitting a near five-month low of $1.1704 as Europe continues to deal with a third wave of COVID-19 cases and a vaccination program lagging behind that of the U.S.
Back in Asia, the greenback held firm against the yen after rising to as high as 110.97, its highest level in a year, on Wednesday.
“Rises in U.S. bond yields on hopes of vaccine rollouts and fiscal stimulus are boosting the dollar, as the dollar/yen is known to be particularly sensitive to interest rates differentials,” Nomura Securities chief FX strategist Yujiro Goto told Reuters.
Some investors wondered if flows related to conglomerate Hitachi (OTC:HTHIY) Ltd.’s (T:6501) $9.6 billion acquisition of U.S. software company GlobalLogic Inc. on Wednesday were behind some of the dollar’s recent gains.
“Yen-selling due to Japanese companies’ foreign direct investment is coming back after a slowdown due to COVID-19 last year,” Goto added.
In the U.S., President Joe Biden unveiled details of a $2 trillion-plus job plan, inclusive of $621 billion to rebuild infrastructure and alongside the $1.9 trillion stimulus package signed into law earlier in the year. However, divided opinions in Congress on the plan’s details could set the stage for another division down party lines.
However, uncertainties on how the plan will end up remained, with immediate market reactions kept to a minimum.
Trading is expected to be light over the next few days due to the Easter holidays. However, positive U.S. economic data, including the ISM Manufacturing PMI due later in the day, could mean further gains for the dollar.
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