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The world’s coronavirus situation is detrimental to risk appetite and a series of headlines at the end of the week are concerning.

The US reported its second-highest daily death toll of the pandemic, even as hospitalizations continued to edge downward, offering a small sign of hope for health experts and officials.

The US President Joe Biden has stated that the roll-out of vaccinations has been poor and that things will likely get worse before getting better, predicting that the death toll will top 500,000 next month. 

The US recorded 4,375 deaths on Wednesday, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The coronavirus vaccine won’t be widely available in US pharmacies by late February as previously promised, the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

“We are going to, as part of our plan, put the vaccine in pharmacies. Will it be in every pharmacy in this country by that timeline? I don’t think so,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky told the “Today Show.”

Meanwhile, in the UK, the UK reported record numbers two days in a row, with 1,820 fatalities, the highest yet, reported on Wednesday.

This has led UK government ministers to try to force Boris Johnson into closing Britain’s borders to foreigners.

A growing Cabinet row over how to prevent new variants of  the virus spreading to the UK is taking the market’s focus.

Across the Channel, the European Union leaders agreed that borders should remain open.

The virus’ mutations are concerning and the 27 leaders have looked at further border restrictions like limits on all non-essential travel, better tracking of mutations and improving coordination of lockdowns.

The leaders are assessing more measures to counter the spread of coronavirus variants during a video summit Thursday.

The bloc’s top disease control official said urgent action was needed to stave off a new wave of hospitalizations and deaths.

Meanwhile, in the latest headlines, Japan’s vaccine programme chief has said that the nation will start coronavirus vaccination with Pfizer vaccines.

Market implications

The US dollar may continue to attract a bid if the sentiment flips, which brings the case for the dollar bullish on a number of levels. 

On the other side of the coin, trade war sentiment and demand for US Treasuries coupled with inflationary expectations and a less dovish Fed leading to rising US yields could be the catalyst for a period of US dollar strength. 

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