February 10, 2020 / 2:49 PM / 15 days ago

FOREX-Dollar at 4-month highs against euro on virus concerns, economic outlook

    * Coronavirus concerns boosts safe haven bid for dollar
    * U.S. economic picture more bullish than eurozone's
    * Australian dollar sinks to lowest since 2009

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments
to U.S. market open, new byline, changes dateline, previous
LONDON)
    By Karen Brettell
    NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) - The dollar hit a four-month
high against the euro on Monday as concerns about the
coronavirus boosted demand for safe havens, while a bullish
outlook for the U.S. economy and weak data in the eurozone made
the greenback relatively more attractive than the single
currency.
    People across China trickled back to work on Monday after an
extended Lunar New Year holiday as the government eased
restrictions imposed to counter the coronavirus, but the World
Health Organization said the number of cases outside China could
be just "the tip of the iceberg."
    Investors are concerned that the spreading virus will dent
the global economic outlook.
    Relatively strong economic data in the United States is also
making the greenback more attractive than other currencies.
    Data on Friday showed that U.S. job growth accelerated in
January.
    By contrast, German industrial output suffered its biggest
fall in December since the recession-hit year of 2009, data on
Friday showed. Data on Monday also revealed that Italian
industrial output was much weaker than expected in December.

    “We had much stronger than expected U.S. data, coupled with
much weaker than expected eurozone data,” said Win Thin, global
head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in New
York.
    At the same time, “we have the safe haven bid from the
coronavirus. That is killing EM and really benefiting the
dollar, and to a lesser extent the yen and Swiss,” Thin said.
    Political uncertainty in Germany is an additional headwind
for the euro.
    Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, leader of Chancellor Angela
Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), on Monday confirmed she
would not run for chancellor in next year's federal election but
added that she would remain party chair until another candidate
is found.
    The euro fell to a four-month low of $1.0925. The
British pound dropped to a two-month low of $1.2870
before rebounding to $1.2938.
    The Australian dollar sank to $0.6656, the lowest
since 2009, before gaining back to $0.6682. Australia’s economy
is highly correlated to China’s.
    
    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 9:27AM (1427 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.0928        $1.0943     -0.14%         -2.52%      +1.0957     +1.0928
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        109.6600       109.7200    -0.05%         +0.73%      +109.8700   +109.5700
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     119.87         120.10      -0.19%         -1.71%      +120.3300   +119.8500
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9774         0.9777      -0.03%         +0.99%      +0.9783     +0.9764
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2938         1.2891      +0.36%         -2.42%      +1.2945     +1.2873
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3316         1.3311      +0.04%         +2.54%      +1.3329     +1.3289
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.6682         0.6672      +0.15%         -4.83%      +0.6707     +0.6659
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.0683         1.0699      -0.15%         -1.56%      +1.0713     +1.0683
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8447         0.8492      -0.53%         -0.08%      +0.8504     +0.8446
 NZ               NZD=        0.6395         0.6400      -0.08%         -5.06%      +0.6417     +0.6391
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                  
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        9.2695         9.2997      -0.32%         +5.59%      +9.3062     +9.2312
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     10.1313        10.1790     -0.47%         +2.98%      +10.1933    +10.1090
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.6711         9.6580      +0.00%         +3.48%      +9.6834     +9.6338
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.5723        10.5722     +0.00%         +0.98%      +10.5890    +10.5504
 
  
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