The greenback is weakening as market optimism lifts riskier currencies

© Reuters. Representations of the virtual currency Bitcoin are placed on US dollar banknotes

By Iain Withers

LONDON (Reuters) – The US dollar held nearly two-week lows on Monday as optimism about the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines and a planned US $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package hit riskier currencies, stock markets and Commodity prices picked up.

Among the winners against the weaker dollar, the British pound broke $ 1.39 for the first time in nearly three years, backed by expectations that the success of the UK's COVID-19 vaccination program could allow the economy to open up and to recover.

Offshore trading continued its recent surge and was on the verge of breaking above 6.39 per dollar for the first time since June 2018.

The commodity currencies also gained, and the South African rand hit a year-high. The Norwegian krone and the Australian dollar hit their three-week highs against the greenback.

Many financial markets in Asia were closed for New Year celebrations on Monday, and US stock markets were closed for Presidents Day.

It fell 0.1%, nearing last week's low of 90.249 – a level not seen since Jan 27.

MUFG analysts said the dollar could weaken further if market optimism persists.

"We believe there is still much to be done in what is known as the 'reflation trade', with market participants underestimating the willingness of global policymakers to let the economy run hot and global growth stronger than later in the year expects to move forward. " "Said the analysts in a note.

The speculators kept their short dollar positions, recent data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. The net short value was $ 29.53 billion.

The Japanese yen, considered a safe haven, fell 0.4% against the greenback to 105.27 yen.

The euro rose 0.1% to $ 1.21310, extending last week's 0.6% gain.

remained volatile, falling to just $ 45,914.75 per day after hitting a record high of $ 49,714.66.

The world's most popular cryptocurrency gained 25% last week, boosted by recommendations from Tesla (NASDAQ 🙂 and BNY Mellon (NYSE :).

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