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  • USD/JPY is firming at support in the Tokyo hour.
  • Dollar is caught between rising coronavirus cases and developments over US fiscal aid talks. 

USD/JPY is trading at 103.83 and firming in the Tokyo open having risen from a low of 103.70 to a high of 103.84, 0.10% higher on the day.

In the prior session, the dollar was trading precariously after trading higher for most of the day, on reports that US Senate Republican leaders have agreed to resume negotiations on another coronavirus stimulus package.

CNBC reported that top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said on Thursday that Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has agreed to resume COVID-19 relief talks as cases surge across the country.

The report led to a bounce in risk, pushing stocks and risk-fx higher as investors resigned to the prospects that the stimulus plan would be passed after President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January.

However, Asia equity markets have started out mixed.

COVID-19 concerns linger and there is additional pressure after US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin requested the Fed return unused stimulus funds.

More on this here.

Federal Reserve officials have challenged the decision.

“The Federal Reserve would prefer that the full suite of emergency facilities established during the coronavirus pandemic continue to serve their important role as a backstop for our still-strained and vulnerable economy.”

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic says he was a bit surprised by the Treasury’s decision.

Others spoke of the economy losing momentum and needing fiscal support.

”Although markets expect further Fed easing, Cleveland Fed’s Loretta Mester stated that it is “not clear to me that monetary policy is the right tool” and that she would “not prejudge the December FOMC meeting”.

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan suggested that the maturity of QE could be lengthened, but he does not favour increasing the quantity. He said all the economic risks are to the downside, adding that the next couple of quarters will be challenging.

 

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