U.S. Dollar Higher As Virus, U.S.-China Worries Weigh


The U.S. dollar climbed against its major counterparts in the Asian session on Friday, as most Asian stock markets fell in thin holiday trading amid U.S.-China tensions and the outbreak of the coronavirus in Japan and Australia.

Several markets in the region, including China, Hong Kong and South Korea, are closed for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Overnight data showed that U.S. weekly unemployment claims fell less than expected in the week ended February 6, tempering the optimism about the economy.

U.S-China tensions remain in focus as U.S. President Joe Biden warned the senators that China will “eat our lunch” if America doesn’t “step up” its infrastructure spending.

Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria will enter a five-day stage four lockdown from today midnight to contain the latest outbreak of the virus variant.

The restrictions include barring visitors to the home, wearing masks everywhere and allowing only takeaway service in restaurants.

The greenback firmed to 3-day highs of 1.3786 against the pound and 104.89 against the yen, after dropping to 1.3817 and 104.68, respectively in prior deals. The next likely resistance for the greenback is seen around 1.34 against the pound and 108.00 against the yen.

The greenback reversed from its early lows of 0.7757 against the aussie and 0.7233 against the kiwi, gaining to 0.7735 and 0.7209, respectively. The greenback is likely to challenge resistance around 0.75 against the aussie and 0.70 against the kiwi.

The U.S. currency touched 0.8908 against the franc, climbing from a low of 0.8893 seen at 5:00 pm ET. If the greenback rises further, 0.92 is likely seen as its next resistance level.

The greenback appreciated to a 3-day high of 1.2730 against the loonie, following a low of 1.2693 set at 5:00 pm ET. On the upside, 1.29 is possibly seen as its next resistance level.

The greenback was up against the euro, at a 2-day high of 1.2112. The greenback is poised to find resistance around the 1.20 level.

Looking ahead, Canada wholesale sales for December and and University of Michigan’s preliminary U.S. consumer sentiment index for February will be featured in the New York session.


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