Dollar declines, bitcoin soars

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    NEW YORK – The dollar lost ground on Friday as market participants favored currencies associated with risk-on sentiment over the safe-haven greenback.

    Risk appetite was stoked by better-than-expected economic data and expectations that US President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package will come to fruition.

    “The dollar’s down against other currencies but not by a whole lot,” said Oliver Pursche, president of Bronson Meadows Capital Management in Fairfield, Connecticut. “I expect the dollar to be where it is now at the end of the year, and the main reason for that is while I see some signs of improvement in the economy, monetary policy is going to stay where it is.”

    “I don’t think the dollar is underpriced or overpriced,” Pursche added.

    For the week, the dollar slid about 0.2 percent against a basket of world currencies, the euro was essentially flat, and the yen lost more than 0.5 percent. But the British pound advanced more than 1.1 percent against the dollar, its best week since mid-December.

    Bitcoin continues soar to record highs. The world’s largest cryptocurrency was last up 6.6 percent at $54,961.67, hitting $1 trillion in market capitalization.

    Its smaller rival, ethereum was last up 0.7 percent at $1,953.28.