Dollar steady after Friday’s U.S. jobs-related losses; bitcoin soars


NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar was flat to slightly lower in troubled trading on Monday after falling sharply last week on disappointing US job data, although investors also focused on collecting cryptocurrencies led by Bitcoin, after Tesla announced a $ 1.5 billion investment in digital asset.

FILE PHOTO: This image illustration, taken in Seoul on February 7, 2011, shows US 100 dollar bills. REUTERS / Lee Jae-Won / File Photo

The dollar index was last at 90.959, which hardly changed that day. It fell on Friday after data showed the U.S. economy created fewer than expected jobs in January and job losses in December were greater than originally reported.

However, investors continued to see a faster recovery in the US than in most countries. Many analysts now believe that after falling nearly 7% in 2020, the dollar will remain well bid for the short to medium term. So far this year the dollar has gained 1.1%.

Jonas Goltermann, Senior Markets Economist at Capital Economics, attributed the dollar’s rebound from its lows late last year to the US government’s relative success in introducing COVID-19 vaccines.

According to an analysis by Capital Economics, more than 10% of Americans have now received a first dose of vaccine, which means a much faster adoption of the vaccine than any other major economy except the UK.

“To the extent that this divergence continues, it could help the dollar rally,” said Goltermann. “If the US economy did better than its peers, investors would likely prefer US assets over others.”

Speculators also have short positions – betting that the dollar will weaken – reduced on the currency. Speculators’ net bear bets on the dollar fell to $ 29.95 billion in the week ending February 2, according to calculations by Reuters and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The euro was unchanged against the dollar at $ 1.2050 in afternoon trading.

In a statement to clients, JP Morgan strategists said they “have growing confidence that the EUR will underperform the USD”.

Eurozone investor morale unexpectedly plummeted in February as lockdowns to suppress the COVID-19 case burden left their mark on the economy, which lost touch with other regions of the world as it continued to recover, according to a survey by Sentix revealed.

Sentix’s Eurozone investor sentiment index fell into negative territory, falling to -0.2 from 1.3 in January.

The dollar fell 0.1% against the yen to 105.215 after pulling back from a three-month high hit on Friday.

In the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin hit another record high of $ 44,899 after Tesla Inc announced on Monday that it had invested around $ 1.5 billion in the virtual currency and is expected to use it to make payments for its cars and cars in the near future will accept other products.

Bitcoin most recently rose 11.15% to $ 43,188.

“Tesla’s Bitcoin disclosure could ultimately be seen as the event that ensured cryptocurrencies crossed the gap with the mainstream,” said Eric Kapfhammer, chief operating officer and head of Polyient Capital, which specializes in digital asset portfolio management.

Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, hit a record high of $ 1,779.43 late Sunday after its futures were listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. It was last up 5.8% to $ 1,708.94.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Arrangement by Toby Chopra and Dan Grebler