Janet Yellen, former Federal Reserve boss, who is about to become the first female secretary of the U.S. treasury, reaffirmed her devotion on Tuesday to letting investors decide the worth of the dollar, a much-anticipated currency. I believe in exchange rates that are dictated by the economy. For productivity gains, the United States will not seek to weaken its currency, she added. It also strongly stated that it would oppose any attempt to manipulate its own exchange rates by foreign countries.
Little after Ms. Yellen’s remarks, the greenback, which had fallen as early as Tuesday, responded. On Tuesday, the dollar index (reflecting its evolution against six benchmark currencies) fell 0.28% to 90.53 points against that basket of currencies, while the euro gained 0.4% to $1.2123.
In bond markets, the 10-year T-Bond yield ended steady at 1.09%, after hitting a week-high at 1.18% as of March 2020 in anticipation of an inflation recovery as the post-Covid-19 economic recovery resumed. After comments from Fed President Jerome Powell, however, rates eased late last week. He assured the U.S. central bank that it was still far from planning to restrict its market support.
Investors are hoping that Congress will quickly and without much change pass Joe Biden’s budget support plan. In the Senate, which is divided between Democrats and Republicans by 50/50 seats, in particular, votes could be cast against slippage in public deficits, and several senators on both sides may be tempted to reduce certain aspects of the plan.
Currently, the project includes $415 billion to strengthen the control of Covid and the distribution of the vaccine, as well as almost $1 billion in direct assistance to households and $440 billion in aid to SMEs and the most severely affected municipalities. Many U.S. families would receive $1,400 checks and unemployment insurance would be increased by $400 a week, up from the existing $300, and extended to September.