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FOREX-COVID-19 proof risk sentiment drags dollar near 2018 lows

CoronavirusJan 04, 2021 09:54
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* Dollar softens against most majors; virus worries lift yen
* China's yuan soars
* Focus turns to Georgia Senate race
* Europe waits for new batch of PMIs

By Julien Ponthus
LONDON, Jan 4 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar held near mid-2018
lows on Monday as bullish sentiment across global markets
prompted investors to buy riskier currencies such as the Chinese
yuan, despite a resurgent pandemic.
Low U.S. interest rates, massive U.S. budget and trade
deficits and a belief that rebounding world trade will drive
non-dollar currencies higher have set the dollar on a downward
"The U.S. dollar slipped further through the threshold of the
new year as global risk sentiment stayed buoyant", said Alvin
Tan, an FX strategist at RBC Capital Markets.
The dollar index =USD posted its first annual los9s since
2017 last year. It has fallen roughly 13% from a three-year peak
at the height of the pandemic panic in March.
It was last 0.14% weaker at 89.640 and not far above last
week's more than two-and-a-half-year low of 89.515.
Manufacturing activity expanded in Japan, South Korea and
Taiwan, according to PMI surveys, the latest indication that
manufacturers in the region continue to recover from the damage
caused by the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
The Chinese yuan CNY= rose over 0.9% to a 30-month high of
6.4693 per dollar.
Chinese factory activity continued to accelerate in
December, though the PMI missed forecasts at 53.0. The safe-haven yen JPY=EBS rose 0.4% to 102.90 per dollar,
and looked to test resistance at 102.55, after Japanese Prime
Minister Yoshihide Suga said his government was mulling a state
of emergency in Tokyo as coronavirus cases rise.
The softening dollar boosted commodity prices and pushed
bitcoin as well as several Asian currencies to milestone highs.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars each gained close to
0.4% to hold just below multi-year peaks. AUD/
The euro EUR=EBS , which had dipped on New Year's Eve
profit-taking, rose 0.4% to $1.2270 while traders waited for a
fresh batch of economic indicators throughout the region.
Sterling GBP= , still boosted by Britain's trade deal with
the European Union, gained to $1.3678, levels last seen in early
Investors are now focused on a runoff election in the U.S.
state of Georgia on Tuesday that will determine control of the
Senate. Jeffrey Halley, a market analyst at Oanda warned his clients
against sharp moves in the dollar after that election.
"A Democrat win is likely to see a sharp correction higher
by the US Dollar, exacerbated by the world being universally
short the greenback", he said. "Investors should probably wait
for the election dust to settle before committing heavily to new
dollar short positions.
Minutes of the Federal Reserve's December meeting due on
Wednesday should offer more detail on discussions about making
the Fed's forward policy guidance more explicit and the chance
of a further increase in asset buying this year.
The data calendar includes manufacturing surveys across the
globe, which will show how industry is coping with the spread of
the coronavirus, and the closely watched ISM surveys of U.S.
factories and services.
Bitcoin BTC=BTSP on Monday was off Sunday's record high of
$34,800 at $32,340. An enormous rally has carried it up 800%
since March as institutional investors seem to have turned

Currency bid prices at 8:15AM in London (0815 GMT)
Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid
Previous Change
Euro/Dollar EUR=EBS $1.2267 $1.2218 +0.41% +0.41% +1.2271 +1.2211
Dollar/Yen JPY=D3 102.9000 103.2900 -0.39% -0.39% +103.3100 +102.8600
Euro/Yen EURJPY= 126.22 126.15 +0.06% -0.55% +126.5200 +126.1100
Dollar/Swiss CHF=EBS 0.8822 0.8847 -0.27% -0.27% +0.8845 +0.8818
Sterling/Dollar GBP=D3 1.3676 1.3662 +0.12% +0.12% +1.3702 +1.3645
Dollar/Canadian CAD=D3 1.2696 1.2734 -0.40% -0.27% +1.2735 +1.2686
Aussie/Dollar AUD=D3 0.7720 0.7693 +0.37% +0.37% +0.7734 +0.7682
NZ NZD=D3 0.7207 0.7181 +0.38% +0.38% +0.7217 +0.7183

All spots FX=
Tokyo spots AFX=
Europe spots EFX=
Volatilities FXVOL=
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ TKYFX

china yuan 2 year

FOREX-COVID-19 proof risk sentiment drags dollar near 2018 lows

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