The US dollar on Friday eased against a basket of major currencies following the final US presidential debate, with fading prospects for a COVID-19 relief package before the Nov. 3 elections seeing the greenback post a weekly decline.
US President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, former US vice president Joe Biden, on Friday squared off in a less raucous debate than their previous meeting, but tensions were still high, with a focus on the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and plenty of personal attacks thrown into the mix.
“It was certainly more productive than the first one, but I don’t think there was any meaningful shakeup in the outlook for the election,” Western Union Business Solutions LLC senior market analyst Joe Manimbo said.
The market is looking at a potential Biden victory as setting the stage for a more robust post-election rescue package, which is reducing the demand for the safe-haven greenback, he added.
The US dollar index closed down 0.22 percent at 92.75, and was down 1 percent for the week.
Given the potential risk of a contested election result, the US dollar is likely to be confined to the range it has been in for the last several weeks, Manimbo said.
The New Taiwan dollar on Friday declined against the greenback, losing NT$0.014 to close at NT$28.917. Turnover totaled US$761 million during the trading session.
However, the NT dollar posted a 0.21 percent weekly increase against the US dollar.
In Europe, business surveys in France and Germany showed that the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 infections in the eurozone’s two biggest economies, threatening to derail the bloc’s nascent recovery.
Despite the data, the euro edged 0.2 percent higher against the greenback to US$1.1844.
“The PMIs weren’t good, but they weren’t as bad as expected, and that’s the important point,” said Marshall Gittler, head of investment research at BDSwiss Group.
“Furthermore, stock prices are being boosted by some good earnings reports from Daimler, Barclays and others, and that’s encouraging a ‘risk-on’ mood in FX too,” he added.
The euro also firmed after Reuters reported that France was laying the groundwork for a fisheries compromise to help the EU strike a deal with Britain.
The Sterling also gained on the report, before easing back to 1.3065, down 0.12 percent against the US dollar.
The safe-haven yen dipped 0.15 percent to ￥104.76 per US dollar.
The yuan ticked down 0.11 percent against the greenback after an official at China’s foreign exchange regulator said that it has been more stable than expected, suggesting authorities are not too worried about its recent rise.
Additional reporting by staff writer, with CNA
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