Dollar edges higher, Bitcoin gets Tesla boost, Fed tension mounts

Markets have been marching higher but the dollar has gained some ground in tense trading ahead of Wednesday’s Fed decision. Tesla’s Bitcoin ventures are supporting cryptocurrencies.US consumer data is eyed after investment figures disappointed. Vaccine and virus developments are also in play.

The US dollar has been edging higher, with EUR/USD trading below 1.21 and GBP/USD under 1.39. Rising US Treasury yields have replaced worries in carrying the greenback higher. Durable Goods Orders for March missed with a modest increase of 0.5%, contrary to previous figures for last month, which beat estimates.

Tuesday’s economic calendar features the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence gauge for April and housing figures. Investors are already eyeing the Federal Reserve’s all-important decision on Wednesday.

Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues will find it harder to defend looser monetary policy amid strong demand for labor and rising price pressures. Volkswagen is the latest carmaker to halt production due to the global chip shortage.

Tesla’s earnings beat estimates with 93 cents per share with cost-cutting compensating for lower car prices. Elon Musk’s company also revealed it gained $100 million through its Bitcoin investment, which exceeded standard expenditure. The CFO added that “there are lots of reasons to be optimistic” on the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is trading around $54,000.

Vaccines: The US announced it would give away up to 60 million doses of surplus AstraZeneca inoculations to other countries, most importantly India. The south Asian giant continues suffering from a severe COVID-19 wave. Western countries are experiencing drops in infections as immunizations continue.

The Bank of Japan left its interest rate unchanged at ‘0.10% as expected and upgraded its growth and inflation forecasts.

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