13 Feb 2019
The US dollar held at a two-month high and the Australian dollar gained yesterday as expectations of progress in trade talks between the United States and China and a tentative deal to avoid a US government shutdown lifted sentiment.
US lawmakers reached a deal on border security funding that could help avert another partial shutdown due to start on Saturday, fuelling gains in Asian stocks.
Trade talks began in Beijing this week after an earlier round ended in Washington last week without a deal, and with the top US negotiator saying a lot more work needed to be done.
“The dollar is the market’s pet currency at present regardless of whether concerns about the global economy are on the rise or whether (there are) risks in connection with the trade conflict between China and the US as well as the government shutdown,” currency strategists at Commerzbank said in a note.
Against a basket of its rivals, the dollar was broadly steady at 96.986, after climbing to its highest level since mid-December at 97.117 in the previous session.
Financial markets have been roiled by the trade tensions over the past year, with global business sentiment taking a hit as factory activity and economic growth suffered.