By Chuck Mikolajczak

New York, Oct 12 (Reuters)The dollar index was little changed near three-week lows on Monday as optimism over the possibility of a COVID-19 relief bill was curbed by concern over the pandemic, while China’s yuan fell after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) changed its reserve requirements policy.

On Sunday, the Trump administration called on Congress to pass a stripped-down coronavirus relief bill using leftover funds from an expired small-business loan program, as negotiations on a broader package continue to run into roadblocks. A White House spokeswoman said on Monday that Senate Republicans will go along with what Trump wants in legislation.

The greenback has held within a range of about 2% over the past three weeks as talks have gone back and forth. The dollar had its biggest loss in six weeks on Friday amid rising hopes a fiscal stimulus package would be agreed to stem the economic fallout from COVID-19. More stimulus is seen as negative for the dollar.

“The dollar just retains this soft underbelly on expectations that sooner or later there will be some stimulus out of Washington,” said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions in Washington DC.

“At the same time, if you look at some of the election developments, the polls are trending in a way that is reducing worries about a contested outcome, that is more risk positive and therefore dollar negative.”

Opinion polls show Biden with a substantial lead nationally, but the advantage is smaller in some of the states that may decide the election outcome.

The offshore yuan CNHUSD=R fell 0.76% against the dollar after China’s central bank said on Saturday it would lower the reserve requirement ratio for financial institutions when conducting some foreign exchange forwards trading, a move seen

New York (Reuters) – The dollar index held near three-week lows on Monday as optimism over the possibility of a COVID-19 relief bill was curbed by concern over the pandemic while China’s yuan fell after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) changed its reserve requirements policy.

FILE PHOTO: Saudi riyal, yuan, Turkish lira, pound, U.S. dollar, euro and Jordanian dinar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

On Sunday, the Trump administration called on Congress to pass a stripped-down coronavirus relief bill using leftover funds from an expired small-business loan program, as negotiations on a broader package continue to run into roadblocks.

The greenback has held within a range of about 2% over the past three weeks as talks have gone back and forth. The dollar had its biggest loss in six weeks on Friday amid rising hopes a fiscal stimulus package would be agreed to stem the economic fallout from COVID-19. More stimulus is seen as negative for the dollar.

“The chances of getting a comprehensive stimulus deal before the election are slim,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst, at OANDA in New York.

“So what that means is that the damage to the economy is going to grow and it means that right now we are talking somewhere around $1.8 or $2 trillion …and that just means the stimulus is going to be bigger the longer they wait.”

The offshore yuan CNHUSD=R fell 0.8% against the dollar after China’s central bank said on Saturday it would lower the reserve requirement ratio for financial institutions when conducting some foreign exchange forwards trading, a move seen as a bid to curb recent yuan appreciation.

The yuan had reached a more than 17-month high on Friday in offshore trade and has gained nearly 8% against the

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) – International stocks rose on Friday, with all three major Wall Street indexes posting weekly gains as investors grew more hopeful the U.S. government would provide additional economic stimulus.

Gold jumped and the dollar dropped as investors focused on the probability of forthcoming U.S. coronavirus relief.

Wrangling in Washington over pandemic aid has dominated global markets this week, and although U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to hammer out a deal, talks will continue despite Republican doubts.

Trump said in an interview on Friday that he wants to see a bigger stimulus package than either Democrats or Republicans were offering, a reversal from his threats at the beginning of the week that he would halt negotiations.

“We’re in one of those periods where Washington is driving Wall Street, be it either the presidential election or fiscal stimulus and today it was about the stimulus,” said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York.

“Markets are up on the hope that more fiscal stimulus is coming but its really just hope, as communication from Washington has become somewhat erratic,” Carter added.

Trump expressed a desire to return to the campaign trail a week after announcing he had contracted COVID-19, but aides said he was unlikely to hold in-person events until Monday at the earliest.

Reuters/Ipsos polls show Trump’s approval rating plummeting, with Americans steadily losing confidence in his handling of the pandemic, while Democratic challenger Joe Biden makes gains in several key swing states.

“Biden is rising in the polls, creating both hope that fiscal stimulus is coming and less of a chance of a contested election which could be a real problem for markets,” Carter said.

Next week, investors’ attention will shift to reporting season,

BANGKOK, Oct 8 (Reuters)Thai consumer confidence dropped in September for the first time in five months on concerns about growing political protests, a slow economic recovery and job losses from the coronavirus pandemic, a university survey showed on Thursday.

The consumer index of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce fell to 50.2 in September from 51.0 in August.

“Various political gatherings made people have no confidence in government stability,” while the surprise exit of the country’s finance minister last month was negative, university president Thanavath Phonvichai told a briefing.

Demonstrators have rallied against the military-backed government in larger numbers in recent months, with some also calling for reforms of the powerful monarchy. The next big protest is set for Oct. 14.

Consumers felt the economic situation remained bad as tourism has yet to recover, Thanavath said.

“If the situation does not improve, there may be more than 500,000 job cuts in the sector in the fourth quarter,” he said.

Thailand has recorded no foreign tourists since April and relatively few infections due to a travel ban designed to keep the coronavirus at bay.

It aims to receive its first visitors later this month as part of an incremental reopening, but only a small fraction of the usual influx.

Recent government stimulus measures are positive, but most consumers felt the economy would recover in the second half of next year, Thanavath said.

The university predicts Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy to contract 7%-9% this year before growing 3%-4% next year, he said.

(Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty)

(([email protected]; +662 0802309; Reuters Messaging: [email protected]))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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(Bloomberg) — Oil clung to losses after U.S. government data showed the first crude stockpile gain in four weeks, adding to concerns over a demand recovery with stimulus talks in limbo.

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Futures in New York fell as much as 3.4% on Wednesday. An Energy Information Administration report showed domestic crude inventories increased 501,000 barrels last week, while supplies at the nation’s biggest storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, climbed to the highest level since May.

At the same time, U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend fiscal relief talks until after the election is casting further doubt on energy demand bouncing back amid the pandemic. Reopening plans around the world are being thrown into question as global cases top 35 million.

This ended a trend of “fairly large declines,” said Rob Thummel, a portfolio manager at Tortoise, a firm that manages roughly $8 billion in energy-related assets. “There continues to be uncertainty associated with domestic demand and the need for fiscal stimulus to continue to boost the economy and correspondingly boost demand for crude oil.”



chart: U.S. crude inventories rise for the first time in four weeks


© Bloomberg
U.S. crude inventories rise for the first time in four weeks

Oil’s retreat follows two sessions of gains, lifted by a workers’ strike in Norway and Hurricane Delta spurring Gulf of Mexico operators to shut output. Still, without a U.S. virus relief package, the demand outlook has only become dimmer. Governments around the world are trying to control the spread, with Brussels and Bucharest becoming the latest European capitals to impose restrictions on nightlife.

Trump in a series of Tuesday-night tweets called on Democrats to pass standalone bills. While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled openness to a standalone airline relief bill in a telephone conversation with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday, it is a far cry from the Democrats’ $2.2 trillion