COVID-19 vaccine rollout: how might it impact global currencies?

As 2020 drew to a close, news broke of multiple vaccinations for the COVID-19 virus, and each nation began discussing its plan for distributing the vaccine.

Xe Corporate

January 12, 2021 3 min read

Man studying financial graphs showing exchange rates

At this time, we are still in the early stages of the vaccine rollout, and many nations around the world are still in the process of vaccinating their highest-priority individuals and preparing for the eventual larger-scale distribution.

As some start to dream about a return to life outside of lockdowns and social distancing, others are wondering what the news of the vaccinations—and their eventual distribution—could mean for major global currencies and economies.

Has anything recently impacted the US dollar?

Several recent happenings have led to an impact on the USD.

First, the dollar may see a very short term sentiment impacted by Donald Trump’s removal from office. President elect Joe Biden has stated that he will announce an economic plan on Thursday, 14 January, to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and an eventual reopening. While the specifics of this plan are not known at this time, we do know that this plan will be worth “trillions” of dollars and will entail massive infrastructure spend.

Recent minutes from the Fed have shown us that the US Central Bank quantitative easing (QE), and that interest rates will continue to be low for the foreseeable future.

Finally, U.S. treasury Yields recently rose to 10 month highs.

What does this mean for the dollar?

The above events resulted in an end to the recent weaker dollar. Instead, the dollar has been strengthening against its major trading counterparties.

How are other currencies being impacted by the vaccine rollout?

The sooner a nation can widely distribute immunizations, achieve herd immunity and therefore see its economy back and open for business, the better it will be for their economy and currency.

It is currently estimated that once 70-90% of the population has been vaccinated, the sooner lockdown restrictions and the “handbrake” on the economy can be released. Because of this, markets are tracking the current vaccine numbers and the planned numbers in the weeks and months ahead as an indicator of which economies will bounce back and which currencies will strengthen first.

Currently, the US dollar and the British pound are poised to see positive change. As of January 8, 2021, the United States ranks 4th in the list of vaccination doses per country, with 2.02 doses administered per 100 people in the population. The United Kingdom ranks 6th, with 1.94 doses per 100 members of the population as of January 3, 2021.

On the other hand, as a result of Europe’s comparatively slow start to the vaccine rollout, the Euro currently appears to be in a vulnerable position.

What can you do?

If the past year has demonstrated anything, it’s that one can never predict what may happen. The most important thing that you can do is ensure that you’re prepared for market volatility and market motion in all directions.

We’d like to help with that. Log in to your account or sign up for an Xe account or set your Rate Alerts so that when the market does move, you’ll be the first to know.

If you'd like to guarantee your market rate, simply set up a Market Order within your account—no need to worry about market volatility.