Markets lick wounds from Delta-driven dive, dollar holds up, cryptos shed $100 billion

Markets have been attempting to stabilize after diving on Monday as investors caught up with the rapid spread of the Delta covid variant. The safe-haven dollar is holding onto its gains, Bitcoin has tumbled under $30,000 and gold has recovered from a dip under $1,800.

Stock slump: The rapid spread of the Delta covid variant all over the world sent global shares tumbling, with the S&P suffering its worst day since May. Asian and European shares have followed, while S&P 500 futures are showing signs of stabilization.

Flight to safety: The US dollar surged across the board, despite a rush to American debt. Yields on 10-year Treasuries tumbled below 1.20%. An inverse correlation between returns and the greenback seems to be emerging. Yields have edged higher, allowing the greenback to taker a breather early on Tuesday.

The US dollar hit the highest in a year against the Aussie and the kiwi. These “risk” currencies are also exposed to an upswing in covid cases in Asia, with Malaysia and Indonesia standing out. Infections were detected also in the Olympic Village in Tokyo, yet the yen has benefited as a safe-haven currency, with USD/JPY hovering around 109.50.

GBP/USD dipped below the 1.3670 double-bottom on the UK’s “Freedom Day” which was marred by a “pingdemic” – Hundreds of thousands of Brits were called to self-isolate after being exposed to people who tested positive. Activity in London remained mute despite the removal of most restrictions as cases remain high. Cable remains depressed at around 1.3660.

EUR/USD is trading below 1.18 and above the 15-week low of 1.1764 but remains pressured as infections rise in Europe. The common currency is used for funding. Investors await the European Central Bank’s decision on Thursday.

Gold suffered a dip below $1,800 on Monday but recovered quickly, trading around $1,815 early on Tuesday. The risk-off mood exacerbated the drop in oil prices, sending WTI to around $66. Crude prices had suffered from the OPEC+ decision to increase output.

Bitcoin has tumbled below $30,000 and Ethereum slipped to $1,750 in a cryptocurrency sell-off which has wiped out some $100 billion off the value of digital assets. Dogecoin and Shiba have not been spared.

US Housing Starts and Building Permits are due out on Tuesday, yet investors will be watching covid headlines and perhaps developments related to infrastructure spending from Washington. US covid cases are also on the rise, especially in undervaccinated areas.

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