Dollar Loses Ground Against Peers
The U.S. dollar was weak against its peers on Monday, weighed down by reports showing a surge in coronavirus infections in several states across America, and on data showing a sharp drop in existing home sales.
According to a report from the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales in the U.S. plunged by 9.7% to an annual rate of 3.91 million in May after plummeting by 17.8% to a rate of 4.33 million in April. Economists had expected existing home sales to slump by 4.8% to a rate of 4.12 million.
Existing home sales declined for the third straight month and are down by 26.6 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
Meanwhile, according to the World Health Organization, more than 183,000 new coronavirus infections were reported globally on Sunday, the biggest single-day increase since the outbreak began.
Brazil has become a major coronavirus hotspot in recent weeks and led the spike in new infections with 54,771 new cases.
The U.S. was next with 36,617 new cases as states in the South, West and Midwest see surges in new infections following recent reopening.
During his speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday, President Donald Trump blamed the jump in new cases on increased testing and suggested he would like to see testing slowed down.
The dollar index, languishing in negative territory right through the session, was down more than 0.6% at 97.01.
Against the Euro, the dollar weakened to $1.1266, from Friday’s $1.1180
The Pound Sterling was stronger by almost 1%, with a unit of sterling fetching $1.2467, up from $1.2348 Friday evening.
Against the Japanese currency, the dollar was flat at 106.87 yen, little changed from Friday’s close of 106.88 yen.
Against the Aussie, the dollar slipped to $0.6910, giving up more than 1%. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said the interest rates are set to remain at the current record lows for years to come. He also said that it is hard to argue that the Australian dollar is overvalued. The recent rise in the Australian dollar against the US dollar was a reflection of the nation’s coronavirus pandemic outperformance, Lowe said.
Against the loonie, it lost around 0.6%, dropping to C$1.3525 a unit. The Swiss franc was stronger at 0.9474 a dollar, gaining more than 0.5%.