The greenback languishes amid pandemic assist optimism, whereas the pound snakes

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: This image shows pound and US dollar bills

By Kevin Buckland

TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar fell near a 2-1 / 2-year low on Tuesday as investors were urged to take more risks as U.S. lawmakers pushed ahead with an improved COVID-19 bailout.

The House of Representatives voted Monday to increase stimulus payments to qualified Americans from $ 600 to $ 2,000 and sent the measure to the Senate for a vote.

Last week's Brexit deal, while helping the bones, also helped the outlook for global growth, boosting Asian stocks on Tuesday following the gains on Wall Street.

"There is a lot of optimism and it is generally coming from the stock markets," said Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo office manager Federal road (NYSE 🙂 Bank and Trust.

"The dollar is very heavy and it will continue to be so for the next year."

The holiday-thinned trade fell 0.1% to 90.125, rolling near the 89.723 level hit on December 17 for the first time since April 2018.

Short US dollar positions rose to $ 26.6 billion in the week ended December 21, the highest level in three months. This is evident from Reuters calculations, which are based on data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Monday.

The euro rose 0.2% to $ 1.22375 in the Asian session and was hovering near the 2-1 / 2 year high of 1.22735 hit earlier this month.

The dollar bought 103,695 yen, little changed against any other safe currency.

The pound sterling rose 0.2% to $ 1.3484 after a two-day decline. It was $ 1.3625 this month, a level not seen since May 2018, but investors took profits after a Brexit trade deal was confirmed last week.

While the pact came as a relief, it leaves the UK far more detached from the EU, analysts say.

"People are still trying to figure out what this Brexit deal means," said State Street's Wakabayashi.

"Nothing really was agreed in the financial markets and that is a major disadvantage for the UK."

The Australian dollar rose 0.2% to 75.927 US cents, while its New Zealand counterpart rose 0.3% to 71.19 US cents.

The offshore market rose 0.2% to 6.5192 per dollar. Onshore, it changed hands at 6.5310 per dollar.

declined 2.4% to $ 26,367 and continued its retreat from its all-time high of $ 28,377.94 on Sunday.

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