Dollar advances after Biden presents plan, covid concerns, OPEC+, top-tier US data eyed

Markets are relatively upbeat on Maundy Thursday after President Biden presented a massive tax and spending plan. Worries about vaccine supplies and a lockdown in France are weighing on sentiment. OPEC+ members are set to extend cuts. US jobless claims and the ISM Manufacturing PMI are eyed.

US President Joe Biden announced a $2.25 trillion spending plan which includes significant infrastructure spending, green initiatives and other efforts to make the world’s largest economy more competitive. It will be funded with tax hikes, most importantly an increase in the rates corporates pay from 21% to 28%.

The program was well-telegraphed and caused few immediate jitters, especially as it awaits a torturous path in Congress. The S&P 500 Index continued its upward march toward 4,000 while the dollar gained ground, especially against commodity currencies.

US ten-year bond yields have stabilized above 1.70% but below the highs, allowing gold to recover and recapture the $1,700 level.

Biden promised millions of jobs, and the strength of the labor market will be tested via weekly unemployment claims, which are set to extend their drop after hitting 684,000 last week.

The second significant release is ISM’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for March, which serves as a hint toward Friday’s Nonfarm Payrolls. It is set to show robust activity in the industrial sector. ADP’s labor market statistics showed a jump of 517,000 private-sector jobs in March.

The supply of vaccines has suffered a snag as up to 15 million Johnson & Johnson doses may have been ruined to a factory mix-up in the US. Thay may undermine the goal of offering jabs to all Americans in May.

France is set to enter a four-week nationwide lockdown as COVID-19 cases threaten to overwhelm the country’s health system. Italy is entering several days of stricter limits to movements around Easter.

EUR/USD continues hovering around 1.17 has also been hit by German Retail Sales, which missed estimates with an increase of only 1.2% in February. Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, dared markets to challenge the ECB and its bond-buying scheme.

Ontario, Canada’s most-populated province, is also bracing for a shuttering amid rising cases, weighing on the Canadian dollar. On the other hand, the Canadian economy grew by 0.7% in January, better than expected.

USD/CAD also awaits the OPEC+ decision on Thursday, which is set to result in extending production cuts. Demand is set to remain subdued due to the ongoing pandemic.

Bitcoin remains bid on institutional interest from Visa, PayPal, and Goldman Sachs, but remains below $60,000. Ethereum has topped $1,900, extending its upward march.

Liquidity is set to subside as many traders leave their desks for the Easter holidays. That may trigger choppy action.

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