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Dollar Remains Near One-Month Lows; Yields Fall

The dollar traded largely flat in early European trading Monday, remaining near a one-month low, with Treasury yields hovering near the lowest levels in five weeks. 

At 2:55 AM ET (0755 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, was marginally lower at 91.523, not far from last week’s low of 91.484, a level not seen since March 18.

USD/JPY was down 0.2% at 108.53, EUR/USD dropped 0.1% to 1.1968, near the highest since March 4, GBP/USD was up 0.2% at 1.3857, while the risk-sensitive AUD/USD rose 0.1% to 0.7741.

The 10-year Treasury yield last traded at 1.55%, a sharp fall from the high of just short of 1.78% seen at the end of last month, reducing the appeal of dollar-denominated assets as an investment.

“One of the biggest perceived risks to the 2021 recovery story playing out in financial markets is that of a bond tantrum – or a disorderly rise in U.S. yields,” said analysts at ING, in a note. “It has thus been surprising … to see the large decline in U.S. yields, despite above consensus U.S. CPI and retail sales.”

The Federal Reserve has been persistent in communicating with the market that it will look through rises in inflation, considering them temporary, keeping the central bank’s ultra easy monetary policies in place for some time.

Fed Governor Christopher Waller continued the theme on Friday, saying the U.S. economy "is ready to rip" as vaccinations continue and activity picks up, but a rise in inflation is likely to be transitory.

“We are tempted to say that DXY [the Dollar Index] made an important corrective high at 93.44 at the end of March – and is now heading for a retest of the year’s lows at 89.21,” ING added.

The European Central Bank meets virtually later this week, and little new is expected with policy makers keen to avoid rocking the market given weaning financial markets off emergency stimulus is likely to be a fraught task.

“April has so far been a good month for EUR/USD – despite Europe still struggling with third Covid waves. It seems investors are being very forward-looking and using the recent inflection higher in European vaccination rates to draw confidence in a European recovery later in the quarter,” ING said. 

Elsewhere, USD/RUB rose 0.5% to 76.192, with the U.S. warning of “consequences” if jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny dies, deepening the conflict over the dissident who has already survived an alleged assassination attempt.

The U.S. ordered a raft of new sanctions against Russia on Thursday, including restrictions on buying new sovereign debt, in response to allegations that Moscow was behind a hack on SolarWinds and interfered with last year’s U.S. election.