Dollar struggles on concerns of US tax reform's limited impact

Key Points
  • House-Senate Republicans put finishing touches on tax bill
  • Dollar awaits ratification of tax bill for more incentive
  • Bitcoin hits new record high over weekend
Matt Cardy | Getty Images

The dollar fell against a basket of major currencies on Monday, as concerns grew on whether a proposed U.S. tax reform program would have a major impact on economic growth, after the bill moved another step closer to passage over the weekend.

The U.S. currency had edged higher after Republicans on the House-Senate negotiating committee on Friday put the finishing touches to a sweeping tax overhaul that involves large cuts in levies on corporations. But it slid on Monday on some uncertainty that the bill would indeed be pushed through, and with some doubts creeping in over the pro-growth effect the tax reforms would have.

"Even a passage of the bill by the year's end could have a limited impact on the dollar as investors are increasingly skeptical of the sustained positive impact the rushed bill will have on the economy," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth FX in Washington.

Despite the dollar's latest dip, some analysts believe the dollar has further scope to go higher.

"Economic forecasters expect lower corporate taxes to raise U.S. growth by roughly 0.5 percent over the next year, potentially lifting the pace of interest rate increases from the two currently being priced in by the market to closer to the three hikes consistently estimated projected by Federal Reserve policymakers," said Karl Schamotta, director of global product and market strategy at Cambridge Global Payments in Washington

Sen. Corker now supports GOP tax bill

Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar fell 0.23 percent to 93.71.

The euro benefited from the dollar's weakness, gaining 0.23 percent to $1.1779.

Year-end demand for dollars had helped push the greenback up against the euro in recent sessions, said Alvin Tan, a strategist at Societe Generale in London, but that had slowed on Monday, adding to pressure on the dollar.

Top Republicans are confident Congress will now pass the tax bill this week, with a Senate vote as early as Tuesday and President Donald Trump aiming to sign the bill by week's end.

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The dollar was 0.02 percent lower against the yen at 112.55 following Friday's rise of 0.2 percent. The greenback also failed to get support from the rise in U.S. Treasury yields on Monday.

The benchmark 10-year yield has been confined to a 2.34 percent to 2.42 percent range over the past week.

Bitcoin was down 2.01 percent at $18,702.71 on the Bitstamp exchange. It hit a record high of $19,666 on Sunday, ahead of the launch of bitcoin futures from CME Group Inc .