The U.S. dollar drifted lower on Wednesday, extending recent slide, after Senate Leaders and White House officials reached an agreement on a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package that aims to provide economic relief during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The dollar index dropped to a low of 100.85 in late afternoon trades, and was at 100.92 a little while ago, down 1.1% from previous close.
Against the Euro, the dollar weakened to $1.0892, down almost 1% from Tuesday’s close of $1.0787.
Against pound sterling, the dollar recovered to $1.1642 by noon from an early low of $1.1972, and was last seen at $1.1903.
The Japanese Yen was little changed at 111.17 a dollar, after moving between 110.76 and 111.67.
The dollar was flat at 0.5959 against the Aussie. Against the loonie and Swiss franc, the dollar was down 1.75% and 0.6%, at 1.4205 and 0.9758, respectively.
A report released by the Commerce Department showed an unexpected increase in new orders for U.S. durable goods in the month of February.
The Commerce Department said durable goods orders jumped by 1.2% in February after a revised uptick 0.1% in January. Economists had expected durable goods orders to decrease by about 0.8% compared to the 0.2% dip that had been reported for the previous month.
After days of intense negotiations, Senate leaders and White House officials have finally reached an agreement on a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package intended to provide economic relief during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced the deal in the early morning hours on Wednesday, with a vote on the bill expected later in the afternoon.
“At last, we have a deal. After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic,” McConnell announced from the Senate floor.
McConnell described the bill as a “war-time level of investment” in the country, providing financial assistance to individuals and companies.
According to CNN, the massive bill includes $250 billion in direct payments to individuals and families, $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.
The legislation will purportedly provide direct payments of $1,200 to individuals making up to $75,000 a year, $2,400 to couples making up to $150,000 and an additional $500 per child.
Schumer said the bill also includes “unemployment compensation on steroids,” expanding eligibility to self-employed workers and increasing the maximum benefit by $600 a week for four months.
There is a possibility of a delay in passage of the bill due to a dispute between Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and several Republican Senators.
Sanders said he is prepared to put a hold on the legislation unless the GOP Senators drop their objections to fast-tracking the bill over a provision that would increase maximum unemployment benefits by $600 a week for four months.