What you need to know on Monday, February 15:
The American dollar fell on Friday as Wall Street soared, with the three major indexes posting record closes, and long-term bond yields reaching one-year highs. Poor US employment-related data and comments from Federal Reserve’s officials, indicating a long way ahead of reaching full employment, were behind it, fueling stimulus hopes.
China and the US celebrate holidays this Monday, which means diminished movements may exacerbate moves linked to fundamental headlines.
The EUR/USD pair held just above 1.2100, lacking bullish momentum, although the GBP and commodity-linked currencies neared their yearly highs against the greenback. The USD/JPY pair hovers around 105.00 trapped between soaring equities and the scarce dollar’s demand.
Gold managed to bounce from weekly lows but finished it in the red at around $1,824 a troy ounce. Crude oil prices soared, underpinned by equities’ rally, despite persistent fears of weaker demand in the current pandemic context. WTI closed at $ 59.68 a barrel, its highest since January 2020.
Mario Draghi, the former head of the European Central Bank, has been sworn as Italy’s Prime Minister apter putting together a new unity government. The previous government collapsed over the pandemic handling, and divergences on hoy to spend EU recovery funds.
On Saturday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he believes he could announce the easing of some lockdown measures soon as the government nears its target of offering vaccines to 15 million people in priority groups. So far, more than 14 million people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. Earlier in the week, Johnson said that people may need to get used to the idea of being revaccinated to booster immunity.
Meanwhile, the WHO warned that there are reports of people getting reinfected with the new coronavirus strains. Vaccine immunization is slowly progressing, with the US now having vaccinated 4$ of its population. Japan has approved its first coronavirus vaccine and will start the inoculation process this week. Outbreaks, however, continue. The UK strain is circulating in Latin America, while New Zealand reported three community cases of coronavirus.
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