The U.S. dollar gained in strength against most of its peers on Monday as worries about the economic impact of the surging coronavirus variants boosted the currency’s safe-haven appeal.
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. soared 70% over the last week amid a resurgence of the virus in parts of the country with low vaccination rates.
In the U.K., new cases were up by over 48,000 on Sunday.
In U.S. economic news, the National Association of Home Builders released a report showing an unexpected dip in U.S. homebuilder confidence in the month of July.
The report showed the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index edged down to 80 in July from 81 in June. The modest decrease surprised economists, who had expected the index to inch up to 82.
With the unexpected drop, the housing market index slipped to its lowest level since hitting 78 in August of 2020.
The dollar index, which advanced to 93.04 in the European sesion briefly tumbled into the red to 92.64 around mid morning, but recovered subsequently. It was last seen hovering around 92.85, up 0.18% from the previous close.
Against the Euro, the dollar firmed to 1.1764 earlier in the session, but pared most of its gains as the day progressed and was up marginally at 1.1799 a little while ago.
The Pound Sterling was weak against the dollar, fetching $1.3674 a unit, nearly 0.7% less than Friday’s close of $1.3768.
Against the Yen, the dollar weakened, fetching 109.46 yen, compared to 110.08 on Friday.
Against the Aussie, the dollar strengthened to 0.7345 from 0.7401.
The Swiss franc gained to CHF 0.9181 a dollar from 0.9184. The Loonie weakened to 1.2740 a dollar from 1.2613 as crude oil prices fell sharply on oversupply concerns.