Dollar – Vaccine Concerns Overshadow CPI

The biggest news on Tuesday turned out to be concerns about Johnson & Johnson vaccine and not the U.S. inflation report. The country’s two health agencies (FDA and CDC) recommended halting use of the one-shot vaccine after 6 cases of a rare but deadly blood clot disorder. Six cases is small when measured against the nearly 7 million Americans that have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine but coming off the heels of similar concerns related to AstraZeneca’s shot, regulators are being very cautious as the disorder may appear up to 2 weeks from vaccination. Even if the FDA and CDC deem the vaccine safe after an investigation period, this revelation will increase vaccine skepticism/resistance, dealing a blow to the government’s accelerated vaccination plans. This is bad news for stocks, which ended the day lower, and the U.S. dollar which gave up earlier gains.

U.S. dollar banknote with map

Image Source: Unsplash

U.S. consumer prices rose 0.6 percent in the month of March with core prices rising 0.3 percent. While these increases were more than expected, investors worried about a much larger upside surprise. The more modest increase made it easier for everyone to heed the Federal Reserve’s guidance and look past the rise. Thursday’s retail sales report is the most important piece of U.S. data on this week’s calendar. With a sharp increase in spending expected, the dollar’s decline may be limited. The Fed’s Beige Book report will also be released on Wednesday and optimism is widely anticipated.

After the J&J news, the euro reversed its slide to end the day higher against the greenback. German investor confidence fell more than expected in April. Widespread lockdowns and slow vaccine rollout caused the country’s ZEW survey of investor sentiment to fall to 70.7 from 76.6. Not only was this the first drop since November but economists were looking for an increase. The Eurozone ZEW index also dropped from 74 to 66.3.

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