NEW YORK – The greenback bounced on safe haven buying as risk appetite fell due to concerns over delayed US fiscal stimulus amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and the increasing likelihood that Britain will exit the European Union without a deal.
US officials prepared on Friday for the most ambitious vaccination campaign in decades as regulators rapidly advanced toward approving the first COVID-19 vaccine to slow a pandemic now killing 3,000 Americans per day.
But talks on a federal COVID-19 relief package have not yet been fruitful, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday raised the possibility of negotiations dragging on through Christmas.
“This has been a disappointing week on many fronts,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York.
“There’s been no progress on COVID aid relief talks in DC, we have Brexit, which is once again going to go down to the wire, and coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations are still at a staggering pace in the US and it’s likely to lead to more restrictive measures and lockdowns,” Moya said.
The dollar index against a basket of major currencies gained 0.23 percent to 90.955. It is trading just above a two-and-a-half-year low of 90.471 reached on Dec. 4.