Dollar falls as US earning season kicks off

U.S. dollar banknotes.
Liu Jie | Xinhua | Getty

The U.S. dollar edged lower on Monday as investors looked to domestic corporate earnings and upcoming retail data to gauge whether guarded optimism on the country's economic outlook is justified.

The index that measures the dollar against a basket of six other major currencies - which often serves as a safe-haven for investors seeking high-quality assets in moments of market volatility - was down 0.31% in North American morning trade. The dollar ended its third week of losses on Friday as investors bought into risk-sensitive currencies on bets that the worst of the pandemic's sweeping impact was over.

The S&P 500 index was up 0.90% on Monday morning and the Dow was up 1.15% as second-quarter earnings kicked off with PepsiCo Inc beating analysts' estimates. Wall Street banks JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo are set to report on Tuesday.

While Refinitiv data suggests second-quarter results will show the second-biggest quarterly drop in corporate earnings since 1968, investors maintain some degree of confidence in the U.S. consumer.

Consumer price index data on Tuesday, retail sales data on Thursday and consumer sentiment data Friday are expected to offer insight into how Americans are spending.

"America's economy-driving consumer will be in the spotlight, one that it will share with a slew of key events like central bank meetings in Canada and Europe. Just how far down the road to recovery the world's major economies have traveled will be gleaned from top-tier data. The week's main sights are on U.S. indicators Thursday on retail spending and weekly jobless claims," said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions.

U.S. coronavirus cases surged over the weekend, as Florida reported an increase of more than 15,000 new cases in 24 hours, a record for any state, surpassing a peak hit in New York in April.

The euro rose 0.63% to $1.137, maintaining its uptrend since late last month and was on track for its best day since June 22.

Looming large for the single currency this week is a European Union summit on July 17-18, at which leaders need to bridge gaps on a long-term budget. Investors will also watch for whether an agreement on a proposed 750 billion-euro recovery fund for the bloc emerges.