FOREX-US dollar, yen gain as Delta variant weighs on risk sentiment

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* Fall of the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollar against the greenback * The British pound hits a 3-month low on “Freedom Day” * The dollar is supported by risk aversion * Chart: rate of world exchange https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E (add new comment, exchange table, update prices, change date; previous LONDON) By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Ritvik Carvalho NEW YORK / LONDON, July 19 ( Reuters) – The US dollar, yen and Swiss franc rose on Monday as investors grew nervous about a raging variant of the coronavirus that could threaten prospects for a global economic recovery. The greenback hit a more than three-month high against a basket of major currencies, but broke from its highs as the yen and Swiss franc advanced with declining risk appetite. The US dollar, however, remained significantly higher against risk-sensitive currencies such as the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand dollars. The yen, meanwhile, hit its highest level in 1.5 months against the dollar. The Delta variant of COVID-19 is now the dominant strain worldwide, accompanied by a wave of deaths in the United States almost entirely among unvaccinated people, US officials said on Friday. In the United States, COVID-19 cases are up 70% from the previous week and deaths are up 26%, with outbreaks occurring in parts of the country with low vaccination rates, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky at a press briefing. “Concerns about the Delta variant are triggering this flight to safety across the world,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at the online FX trading platform OANDA in New York City. “There’s just this huge nervousness, which is good for the dollar and the Japanese yen.” By mid-morning, the dollar index, which measures its value against six major currencies, hit its highest level since April 5. The dollar appreciated significantly against commodity currencies. It rose 1% against the Canadian dollar to C $ 1.2752. The Australian dollar fell 0.7% against the greenback to US $ 0.7343, while the New Zealand dollar fell 0.8% to US $ 0.6940. The yen surged on Monday, reaching its highest level since late May against the greenback, which last lost 0.8% to 109.16 yen. The Swiss franc also gained, pushing the dollar down 0.3% to 0.9171 francs. With restrictions on what some local media have dubbed “Freedom Day,” the continued spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus has made investors more doubtful of the possibility of a full economic recovery to pre-pandemic levels. Over the weekend, UK Health Minister Sajid Javid announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and had isolated himself, also forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Minister for Finance Rishi Sunak to quarantine himself. The British pound hit a 3-month low against the dollar at $ 1.3703. The pound lost 0.4% for the last time to $ 1.3694. The euro was little changed against the dollar at $ 1.1810, after falling to a three-month low of $ 1.1764. Investors will look to the European Central Bank meeting this week. =================================================== ====== Currency bid at 10:13 (1413 GMT) Description RIC Last US close Percentage change YTD High bid Low bid Previous session Dollar index 92.7110 92.6590 + 0.07% 3.034% +93.0410 +92.6270 Euro / Dollar $ 1.1814 $ 1.1805 + 0.08% -3.30% +1.11824 $ +1.1764 Dollar / Yen 109.2050 110.0800 -0.78% + 5.71% +110.0950 +109.0700 Euro / Yen 129.01 129.96 -0.73% +1.65% +129.9700 +128.9000 Dollar / Switzerland 0.9171 0.9197 -0.24% + 3.70% +0.9221 +0.9164 Sterling / Dollar $ 1.3696 $ 1.3764 -0.48% + 0.26% +1.3767 $ +1.3690 Dollar / Canadian 1.2770 1.2621 +1.24 % + 0.34% +1.2807 +1.2614 Aussie / Dollar $ 0.7337 $ 0.7401 -0.86% -4.62% + $ 0.7403 + $ 0.7329 Euro / Switzerland 1, 0833 1.0852 -0.18% + 0.24% +1.0862 +1.0830 Euro / Sterling 0.8626 0.8572 + 0.63% -3.48% +0.8627 +0.8565 NZ $ 0.6937 $ 0.7000 -0.93% -3.43% + $ 0.7004 + $ 0.6922 Dollar / Dollar Dollar / Norway 8.9300 8.8575 + 0.96% + 4.14% +8.9615 +8.8695 Euro / Norway 10.5500 10.4553 + 0.91% + 0.81% +10.5710 +10.4225 Dollar / Sweden 8.6769 8.6755 +0. 04% + 5.86% +8.7271 +8.6692 Euro / Sweden 10.2512 10.2466 + 0.04% + 1.73% +10.2691 +10.2448 (Report by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York and Ritvik Carvalho in London; Editing by William Maclean and Andrea Ricci)



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