The dollar edged marginally higher in early European trade Tuesday, helped by concerns over the rise of Covid cases in Asia, but gains are minimal ahead of this week’s key payrolls release.
At 2:55 AM ET (0755 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, traded 0.1% higher at 91.963, just below the two-month high of 92.408 reached on June 18, shortly after the last Federal Reserve meeting.
USD/JPY was 0.1% lower at 110.57, just below a nearly 13-month high of 111.11 reached last week, EUR/USD was down 0.1% at 1.1913, GBP/USD fell 0.1% to 1.3868, while the risk-sensitive AUD/USD was up 0.2% at 0.7555.
The safe-haven dollar received a boost Tuesday as a number of regions in Asia struggled with the spread of the highly infectious delta variant of the Covid-19 virus.
Australia has locked down several cities, Indonesia is grappling with record-high cases, Malaysia is set to extend a lockdown and Thailand has announced new restrictions.
Don Joyce, a Nokia (NYSE:NOK) director working from home at a remote lake cottage in Canada, recently abandoned his painfully slow phone-line internet in favor of satellite broadband service Starlink, offered by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Starlink, which cost him C$600 dollars (US$486) for hardware and a lofty C$150 monthly subscription, provides “blindingly fast” speeds when uploading videos or streaming movies, he said.
But the beta test customer said he experiences dropouts during calls on Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
“If you’re in the city and you have alternatives, I wouldn’t recommend it. But if you’re in the country, like in the middle of nowhere and you’re getting pathetic internet service, then it’s definitely a competitor.”
For billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk – founder of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc – the success of one of his biggest bets may come down to just how many people like Joyce are out there.
Gold was down on Tuesday morning in Asia, remaining close to the one-week low hut during the previous session and is set for its worst month since 2016. A strengthening dollar and concerns over whether the U.S. Federal Reserve would tighten its monetary policy sooner than expected also weighed on the yellow metal.
Gold futures were down 0.37% to $1,774.15 by 12:18 AM ET (4:18 AM GMT), after hitting its lowest level since Jun. 21 on Monday.
Confusion over the Fed’s policy outlook remains almost two weeks after a sudden hawkish turn in its latest policy decision spooked investors. This has in turn contributed to the listless trading seen in the gold market, according to ED&F Man Capital Markets analyst Edward Meir.
Some Fed officials stuck to this hawkish tone, with Fed Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin saying that the central bank has made “substantial further progress” towards its inflation goal in order to begin asset tapering.
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