The U.S. dollar exhibited strength against other major currencies on Monday amid the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and China, and U.S. President Donald Trump signing executive orders aimed at extending coronavirus relief to Americans.

The executive orders include an extension of expanded unemployment benefits, a deferral of student loan payments through 2020, a federal moratorium on evictions and a payroll tax holiday.

Trump signed the orders as lawmakers continue to struggle to reach an agreement on a new coronavirus relief package.

However, the orders are likely to face legal challenges, as Congress controls the funding needed to continue the programs.

Democratic leaders said that the new executive orders circumventing deadlocked congressional negotiations are far from adequate to meet the scope of the crises facing the United States.

The U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday they were open to restarting stimulus talks.

Investors were also keeping a close eye on Sino-U.S. relations amid concerns that their trade deal could be at jeopardy. Amid mounting tensions between Washington and Beijing, U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar offered President Donald Trump’s strong support for democratic Taiwan.

China said it will impose sanctions on 11 U.S. citizens in response to similar measures from Washington on Chinese and Hong Kong officials.

The dollar index, which rose to 93.70 in European deals, fell to 93.30 around mid-morning, but recovered quickly and was last seen at 93.60, up 0.18% from previous close.

Against the Euro, the dollar was stronger by more than 0.4% at $1.1740, firming up from $1.1788. Euro area investor confidence rose for a fourth straight month in August to its highest level since February this year, as the assessment of the current economic situation improved and expectations were remained positive, survey data from Sentix showed Monday.

The investor confidence index rose to -13.4 from -18.2 in July. Economists had forecast a score of -15.1. The current situation index of the survey climbed to -41.3 from -49.5 in the previous month. The latest reading was the highest since March.

The Pound Sterling was stronger with a unit of sterling fetching $1.3073 a little while ago, more than $1.3050 it fetched Friday evening.

Against the Yen, the dollar was up slightly at 105.96 yen, after falling to 105.72 from a high of 106.20.

Against the Aussie, the dollar was up marginally at $0.7149, gaining about 0.11%.

The Swiss Franc was weaker by about 0.35% at CHF 0.9156 a dollar, losing ground from CHF 0.9124. In Swiss economic news, the jobless rate came in at seasonally adjusted 3.3% in July, unchanged from June. Economists had forecast the rate to rise to 3.6%. On an unadjusted basis, the unemployment rate held steady at 3.2% in July. The expected rate was 3.4%.

The Loonie was stronger at 1.3357 a dollar, thanks to higher gold and crude oil prices. Oil prices rose today after Iraq pledged to cut its oil output by a further 400,000 barrels per day and Saudi Aramco said demand will continue to improve.


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