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Title: Dollar Down, but Caps Losses as Newly Discovered COVID Strain Dampens Sentiment

Nov 25, 2021 10:11PM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

The dollar weakened in Asia on Friday morning. Losses were contained, however, as growing concerns about a newly discovered COVID-19 variant dampened investors' risk appetite.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of other currencies, was down 0.07% at 96.685 by 9:57 PM ET (2:57 AM GMT), moving further away from its highest level in nearly 17 months, reached on Wednesday. Still, it rose 0.73% for the week and was on track for its fifth consecutive weekly gain.

The USD/JPY pair fell 0.58% to 114.68.

The AUD/USD pair fell 0.63% to 0.7145 despite a stronger-than-expected 4.9% month-on-month increase in Australian retail sales in October. The NZD/USD pair fell 0.42% to 0.6830.

The USD/CNY pair rose 0.09% to 6.3920, while the GBP/USD pair fell 0.12% to 1.3304.

The rand fell to a one-year low of 16.17 per dollar as concerns grew over the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, discovered in South Africa, which could affect the effectiveness of vaccines.

A rising number of COVID-19 cases prompted Germany to follow the example of neighboring Austria and impose a renewed ban.

Meanwhile, the increasingly hawkish tone of the US Federal Reserve has increased bets on a rate hike by mid-2022, while counterparts in Europe and Japan are sticking to a more dovish stance.

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