By Tom Westbrook

SINGAPORE, Oct 9 (Reuters)The dollar drifted toward a second consecutive weekly loss on Friday, as higher commodity prices and persistent hopes for U.S. stimulus supported investor sentiment and riskier currencies.

Talks have resumed between U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over coronavirus aid plans, two days after President Donald Trump ended them.

Limited progress kept dollar losses and other majors’ gains modest overnight, but the dollar eased 0.06% against a basket of currencies =USD and it is down 0.3% for the week.

The prospect of stimulus to support recovery in the world’s biggest economy has weighed on the dollar in the short-term by improving investors’ mood and their willingness to buy riskier assets such as stocks and commodity currencies.

Investors are also regarding improving chances of a Joe Biden presidency as increasing the likelihood of stimulus, since Democrats are pressing for the largest spending package.

“Market participants are travelling with the idea that a new round of U.S. fiscal stimulus is coming regardless, the uncertainty is more around whether it will happen before the election and how big it will be,” said Rodrigo Catril, senior FX strategist at National Australia Bank in Sydney.

“Investor confidence is growing that Biden will win the Presidential election by a clear margin, reducing the risk that Trump disputes the result.”

The risk-sensitive Australian dollar AUD=D3 rose 0.4% overnight and was steady early in the Asia session on Friday. It is flat for the week, despite analysts interpreting a Tuesday central bank statement as a signal of monetary easing to come.

The New Zealand dollar NZD=D3 has mostly recouped Thursday losses made after another dovish signal from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and was steady at $0.6586 on Friday.

The safe-haven Japanese yen JPY=

SINGAPORE – The safe-haven dollar and yen nursed losses on Thursday, after the revival of hopes for some U.S. spending improved investor sentiment and appetite for riskier currencies.

A flurry of late-Tuesday tweets from President Donald Trump, after he canceled talks with Democrats over coronavirus relief, suggested he was open to piecemeal spending measures.

That lifted equity markets and commodity currencies and sank the safe-haven yen to a three-week low of 106.11 per dollar overnight. The dollar was weaker on most other majors.PELOSI: ALL TRUMP WANTED IN CORONAVIRUS RELIEF NEGOTIATIONS WAS ‘TO SEND OUT A CHECK WITH HIS NAME ON IT’

The euro edged up 0.2% to $1.1767 and held there early in the Asia session. The risk-sensitive Australian dollar lifted off a one-week low and rose about 0.5% overnight to hold at $0.7137 in Asia. [AUD/]

With no fresh clues on stimulus, morning moves were slight and leaned in favor of the greenback. The New Zealand dollar slipped 0.4% after a central bank official said the bank was “actively working” on negative rates.

People wearing face masks walk past a bank’s electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at Hong Kong Stock Exchange Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. (Associated Press)

Top White House officials have played down the likelihood that anything gets passed, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pursuing a standalone bill for aid to airlines.

“It looks like they still can’t agree on a bigger package,” said Commonwealth Bank of Australia currency analyst Joe Capurso. “If they could get an agreement on that, you’d get a bit more of a reaction and the U.S. dollar would fall.”

The overnight mood had been further supported by hints at even more

Surprise readjustment puts September 1 corn inventories down more than ten percent versus 2019 with June through August three month “disappearance” at a near record 3.02 billion bushels.

Inventories of the largest US agricultural crop were officially revised downward in a once annual government report widely watched by traders and farmers.

Known in the trade as the “September Grain Stocks” report, the publication is relied upon by analysts because it sets the official benchmark for grain inventories in the United States as of September 1, the start of the new marketing year for big grains like corn and soybeans. It is released on September 30 each year by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the Agricultural Statistics Board, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Yesterday’s numbers shocked the corn markets by showing an unanticipated decline of 226 million bushels of corn from September 1, 2019 to September 1, 2020. Most analysts had predicted that US corn inventories would have been around 2.250 billion bushels at the beginning of September, but the government pegged the official number at 1.995 billion bushels. Corn futures markets reacted instantly, with most corn futures contracts higher by around three percent.

Importantly, it was not simply the decline in inventories that garnered the attention of corn watchers. Usually when inventories decline significantly it is because of a supply problem, but in fact the USDA showed a minimal rise in corn production, which means corn usage was higher. In fact, the

A large, fancy house with daily mortgage rates graphics.

Image source: Getty Images

Mortgage rates for Sept. 30, 2020 have dropped slightly for both 15- and 30-year loans, continuing to hover near record lows. For yet another day, the average rate on a 30-year loan has remained under 3.00% while 15-year loans can be had for an average rate under 2.50%. These affordable rates are a boon to would-be buyers as well as those considering a refinance loan. Here’s what you need to know about today’s average rates.

Mortgage Type Today’s Interest Rate
30-year fixed mortgage 2.921%
20-year fixed mortgage 2.852%
15-year fixed mortgage 2.420%
5/1 ARM 3.705%

Data source: The Ascent’s national mortgage interest rate tracking.

30-year mortgage rates

The average 30-year mortgage rate today is 2.921%, down .012% from yesterday’s average rate of 2.933%. This rate has dropped slightly today but over time has remained remarkably steady, varying little and remaining below 3.00%. Rates this low are unprecedented and, at today’s average rate, you would be looking at a monthly payment of just $417 in principal and interest per $100,000 borrowed. Total interest costs over the life of the loan are $50,248 per $100,000 in debt if you qualify for a loan at today’s average rate.

Check out The Ascent’s mortgage calculator to see what your monthly payment might be and how much your loan will ultimately cost. Also learn how much money you’d save by snagging a lower interest rate, making a larger down payment, or choosing a shorter loan term.

20-year mortgage rates

The average 20-year mortgage rate today is 2.852%, up .03% from yesterday’s average of 2.822%. At today’s average rate, monthly principal and interest costs would total $547 per $100,000 in mortgage debt and total interest costs over the loan’s life would be $31,332 per $100,000.

Although the rate is slightly below