On Friday, to a basket of benchmark currencies, the dollar index rose 0.1 percent, while the euro also gained 0.14 percent against the greenback to $1.2138. After Elon Musk’s ‘bio’ update on Twitter to the portrait of the queen of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin leaped 12 percent on Friday, touching $36,000.
The economic condition across the country, where growth in the fourth quarter only hit 4 percent year on year after a much stronger turnaround of 33.4 percent in the third quarter, is starting to weigh on this nervous health climate. Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, voiced concern about the situation on Wednesday, with the Fed saying that the speed of growth has moderated in recent months, with stagnation concentrating in the industries most affected by the pandemic.
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The latest Covid-19 surge, Jerome Powell said, made the economic outlook extremely unpredictable. Although saying he saw signs of an economic turnaround later this year, he added that the U.S. economy was also far from a complete rebound and far from the growth and job goals of the central bank.
He affirmed that the Fed (which retained its market support initiatives on Wednesday) did not plan to limit its asset-buying (tapering) in 2021. But he also did not address the likelihood that the Fed’s assistance programs could be further expanded.
Investors are starting to believe, on the health front, that the coronavirus outbreak will continue longer than expected. Markets dealing with the accelerated spread of new variants are concerned about the delay in the timing of the long-awaited economic rebound in 2021. In consideration of the challenge for pharmaceutical groups to manufacture doses on a very wide scale and for the authorities to administer doses, immunization programs are falling on both sides of the Atlantic.
It may take longer than expected for the industrial operations to rise, and the accelerated progression of new forms of Covid-19 increases concerns of certain vaccines becoming less successful. In the European Union, where supplies from Pfizer/BioNtech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna labs have been postponed, vaccine shortages are particularly acute.
It is less productive than delivery that is an issue at the moment in the United States, where the speed of vaccines has increased since President Joe Biden took office. Of the 48.4 million doses distributed to states and nursing homes, according to estimates published on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 26.2 million doses have been administered so far. Biden has set a goal to gain collective immunity by the summer in the United States.
So far, the Covid-19 in the United States has resulted in the deaths of more than 434,000 people, out of a total of 2.2 million deaths worldwide. Worldwide, more than 100 million persons have been contaminated.