Dollar Languishes Amid Pandemic Aid Optimism, Pound Meanders

The dollar languished near a 212year low on Tuesday as investors were encouraged to take on more risk as U.S. lawmakers pushed forward with an enhanced COVID19 relief package.

The House of Representatives voted on Monday to increase stimulus payments to qualified Americans to 2,000 from 600, sending the measure on to the Senate for a vote.

Last weeks Brexit agreement, while bare bones, also supported the outlook for global growth, lifting Asian stocks on Tuesday following Wall Street gains.

Optimism abounds, and its generally coming from equity markets, said Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo Branch manager of State Street Bank and Trust.

The dollar is very heavy, and that will continue into next year.

The dollar index declined 0.1 to 90.125 in holidaythinned trading, wallowing near the 89.723 level reached on Dec. 17 for the first time since April 2018.

Short positions on the dollar swelled in the week ended Dec. 21 to 26.6 billion, the highest in three months, according to Reuters calculations based on data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Monday.

The euro rose 0.2 to 1.22375 in the Asian session, hovering near the 212year high of 1.22735 touched earlier this month.

The dollar bought 103.695 yen, little changed against another safehaven currency.

Sterling rose 0.2 to 1.3484 following a twoday decline. It was as high as 1.3625 this month, a level unseen since May 2018, but investors have taken profits following the confirmation last week of a Brexit…

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