The US dollar on Friday rose from two-and-a-half-year lows as some investors squared positions heading into year-end, while bitcoin edged lower, but still hovered near its all-time high.
The US dollar index was last up 0.17 percent to 89.9840, after dropping to 89.723 on Thursday.
While remaining in focus, it was unclear whether the ongoing trade deal negotiations between the UK and EU would be much of a driver, said Vassili Serebriakov, a currency strategist at UBS in New York.
“We’re moving toward the year-end so you would expect levels to decrease going into the last couple of weeks of the year,” Serebriakov said.
The pound was last down 0.38 percent at US$1.3531.
Wall Street’s main indices opened at record highs as a COVID-19 stimulus package remained in focus ahead of a weekend deadline for a deal, with retail stocks rising on the possibility of strong holiday sales. However, by mid-morning, major indices turned lower.
However, as the US Congress on Friday looked increasingly unlikely to meet a deadline to agree on US$900 billion in fresh COVID-19 aid, a third stopgap spending bill was passed to keep the government from shutting down at midnight.
Investors remain focused on bitcoin, which last traded around US$22,406, down 1.67 percent after rocketing to its highest-ever level on Thursday.
This year’s rally has also been driven by increasing expectations that it will become a mainstream payment method, with PayPal opening its network to cryptocurrencies.
In Taipei, the New Taiwan dollar declined against the greenback, losing NT$0.008 to close at the day’s low of NT$28.489 and marking the fifth consecutive session of declines. The NT dollar declined 0.17 percent from a week earlier.
The Bank of Japan on Friday announced an extension of its COVID-19 loan programs by six months and a surprise review of its policy to consider “further effective and substantive monetary easing,” to conclude by March.
The US dollar rebounded as much as half a percent against the yen to ￥103.595. It was last up 0.21 percent at ￥103.32.
Serebriakov, who remains focused on some of the overnight events, said the Bank of Japan’s policy decision was “a mild surprise.”
Additional reporting by CNA, with staff writer
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