The U.S. dollar lost ground against most major currencies on Monday as risk sentiment improved after biotech firm Moderna Inc. reported “positive” phase one results for a potential coronavirus vaccine.
Moderna Inc. said its experimental coronavirus vaccine mRNA had produced antibodies in all 45 trial participants.
The company also said it is planning to begin additional trials soon and is aiming to be ready for potential emergency use of its vaccine this fall.
The dollar was also weighed down by comments from the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that the U.S. would see a slow recovery from what he called “the biggest shock” that the economy’s had in living memory.
However, Powell added that the downturn may be much shorter than one would associate with the 1930s.
“Assuming there is not a second wave of the coronavirus, I think you will see the economy recover steadily through the second half of this year,” Powell said in an interview with CBS.
The dollar index fell to 99.58, losing about 0.8% and hovered around 98.60 since then.
Against the Euro, the dollar weakened to $1.0913 from Friday’s close of $1.0820.
Against Pound Sterling, the dollar dropped to $1.2194, from $1.2116 a sterling.
The Japanese Yen weakened to 107.34 a dollar, losing ground from its previous close of 107.06 yen a dollar.
The Australian dollar was up at $0.6524, rising from $0.6413 on Friday.
The Swiss franc was little changed at 0.9712 against the dollar, while the Loonie strengthened to 1.3937 a dollar from 1.4109.
Crude oil’s sharp uptick contributed to dollar’s weakness against commodity currencies. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for June West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for June ended up $2.39, or about 8.1%, at $31.82 a barrel.
Brent crude futures for July settled at 34.81 a barrel, gaining 7.1%.