US Markets

Dollar slump continue on U.S. economic worries, safe-haven yen gains

Credit: REUTERS/THOMAS WHITE

The safe-haven yen rose on Friday to its highest in more than four-months, while the dollar slumped to near a two-year low, as risk appetite waned due to a host of concerns including a continued rise in coronavirus cases, a delay in the U.S. stimulus package bill and simmering U.S.-China tensions.

    * Euro zone PMIs indicate renewed growth on the continent
    * Euro hits fresh 22-month high 
    * Dollar falls to 4-month lows vs yen 
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

 (Updates to midafternoon, changes byline)
    By Chuck Mikolajczak
    NEW YORK, July 24 (Reuters) - The safe-haven yen rose on Friday to its highest in more than
four-months, while the dollar slumped to near a two-year low, as risk appetite waned due to a host of
concerns including a continued rise in coronavirus cases, a delay in the U.S. stimulus package bill and
simmering U.S.-China tensions.
    The dollar posted its biggest weekly decline in almost four months against a basket of currencies and
also saw its largest weekly percentage loss against a surging euro since late March.
    "The first key thing is the Fed has knocked real rates down into negative territory, you have economic
growth differentials turning against the U.S., so essentially the second wave of coronavirus infections is
lowering activity across the states and is weighing on the likelihood of a rebound," said Karl Schamotta,
chief market strategist at Cambridge Global Payments.
    "At the same time you have relatively positive signs elsewhere in the global economy."
    The U.S. Federal Reserve is scheduled to hold a two-day policy meeting next week.  
    U.S. coronavirus cases passed the 4 million mark. The pandemic has killed more than 143,000 Americans
and thrown tens of millions out of work.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday that U.S. Senate Republicans will unveil their
proposal next week for a new round of coronavirus aid, including more direct payments to Americans and a
partial extension of enhanced unemployment benefits. [nL2N2EU0NK]
    He added that the administration has requested additional time to review the fine details of the
proposal.
    U.S. unemployment benefits expire next week and without the extension of those benefits, millions of
unemployed Americans would struggle massively. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday she was not
considering a temporary extension to enhanced unemployment benefits. [nL2N2EV1A5]
    In afternoon trading, the dollar fell 0.8% against the yen to 105.99 yen <JPY=EBS>, having dropped to
105.68 yen, the lowest since mid-March. 
    Against a basket of currencies, the dollar slid 0.4% to 94.42 <=USD>. Earlier in the session, it
plunged to 94.358, a fresh 22-month low.
    Analysts said U.S.-China tensions also undermined the dollar.
    China's foreign ministry told the U.S. embassy early on Friday to close its consulate in the city of
Chengdu, after Washington ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston, which U.S. officials
called on Friday "one of the worst offenders in terms of Chinese espionage in the United States."
[nB9N2EM03G][nL2N2EV127]
    The euro, meanwhile, hit a fresh 22-month high against the dollar and was last up 0.4% at $1.16415
<EUR=EBS>.
    IHS Markit's composite flash July Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) readings for the euro zone came in
above economists' expectations and showed activity bouncing back to growth in July as more businesses
reopened after lockdowns to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. [nZRN000LN9]
    The Chinese yuan, a barometer of China-U.S. tensions, looked set for its worst week in nearly three
months. It was last down 0.07% at 7.0177 per dollar in the offshore market <CNH=EBS>.
    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 2:52PM (1852 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1639        $1.1594     +0.39%         +3.83%      +1.1647     +1.1582
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        105.9800       106.8500    -0.81%         -2.65%      +106.9000   +105.6900
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     123.37         123.91      -0.44%         +1.16%      +123.9900   +122.8500
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9219         0.9253      -0.37%         -4.74%      +0.9260     +0.9216
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2790         1.2739      +0.40%         -3.54%      +1.2803     +1.2719
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3423         1.3408      +0.11%         +3.37%      +1.3444     +1.3377
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7097         0.7097      +0.00%         +1.08%      +0.7124     +0.7065
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.0732         1.0730      +0.02%         -1.12%      +1.0748     +1.0713
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.9098         0.9100      -0.02%         +7.62%      +0.9125     +0.9085
 NZ               NZD=        0.6637         0.6633      +0.06%         -1.47%      +0.6653     +0.6616
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                  
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        9.1689         9.2232      -0.59%         +4.45%      +9.2579     +9.1658
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     10.6742        10.6968     -0.21%         +8.50%      +10.7470    +10.6693
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        8.8416         8.8614      +0.12%         -5.41%      +8.8774     +8.8330
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.2930        10.2805     +0.12%         -1.68%      +10.3167    +10.2670
 
    <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Euro on course for best week in 2 months    https://tmsnrt.rs/3fXQNE2
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>
 (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by David Gregorio)
 ((charles.mikolajczak@tr.com; @ChuckMik; Reuters Messaging:
charles.mikolajczak.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: GLOBAL FOREX/ (UPDATE 5, GRAPHICS)

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