The dollar was headed for its best week of the month on Friday, as surging coronavirus cases and stalled progress toward U.S. stimulus had nervous investors seeking safe assets.
As fresh curbs to combat Covid-19 were introduced in Europe and Britain, the world’s reserve currency surged to a two-week high of 93.910 against a basket of currencies. It held just below that peak in Asian morning trade.
London enters a tighter Covid-19 lockdown from midnight, which with a curfew in Paris leaves two of Europe’s largest cities living under state-imposed restrictions.
The U.S. Midwest is also battling record surges in new cases as temperatures get colder, prompting authorities to set up a field hospital in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in case of an overflow of patients from hospital wards.
“Markets fear a slowdown in activity as new virus cases rise,” ANZ bank analysts Susan Kilsby and David Croy said in a note.