Dollar snaps four days of gains, but outlook bright

Four days of U.S. dollar gains ended on Friday, although broader concerns about the euro’s outlook kept dollar bears at bay.

The dollar is still set for its biggest weekly rise since early April, after a European Union meeting on Thursday to build a trillion-euro emergency fund disappointed investors.

Despite an agreement by EU leaders to fund a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, French President Emmanuel Macron said differences continued among EU governments over whether the fund should be transferring grant money, or simply making loans. “They just delivered on the basics and fell short of surprising markets positively and that is weighing on the euro,” said Ilan Solot, a currency markets strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in London referring to the EU meeting.

The euro initially weakened on Friday, falling 0.4% against the U.S. dollar to a one-month low at $1.07275 and to a three-year low versus the yen at 115.55 yen. It subsequently erased losses and edged into positive territory in late trading though the outlook remained cautious.

The outcome of the EU meeting reflected the disagreement about how to resolve the crisis in Europe and prevent an escalation in peripheral bond yields, said Ulrich Leuchtmann, head of FX strategy at Commerzbank.

With Italy and Spain hit far harder than Germany by the coronavirus pandemic, old disputes have surfaced across the EU, which drop in output of as much as 15%, according to the European Central Bank.

The dollar’s rally this week was aided by a historic collapse in oil prices, which pushed U.S. crude futures into negative territory for the first time ever. As oil prices stabilised, the dollar’s safe-haven appeal receded.

Preliminary goods-orders data in the United States and a German business sentiment survey due later on Friday are unlikely to improve investors’ mood, with any global recovery expected to be slow and patchy.

The Aussie and kiwi each shed about 0.2%, holding the kiwi below 60 cents at $0.5996 and the Aussie at $0.6359, beneath resistance around 64 cents per dollar.