May 14, 2020 / 2:49 PM / 12 days ago

FOREX-Dollar climbs to 3-week peak; U.S. jobs data shrugged off

    * U.S. jobless claims fall from last week
    * Trump rips into China over handling of coronavirus
    * Graphic on world forex

 (Adds new comment, U.S. data, FX table, updates prices, changes byline, dateline; previous LONDON)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) - The dollar rose to a three-week high on Thursday, as stock markets
weakened broadly after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell dismissed speculation over U.S. interest
rates entering negative territory.    
    European stock markets fell, and U.S. stocks were also down, the third consecutive session of losses
and sending investors to the relative safety of the greenback.
    Comments from top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci earlier this week, warning about the
premature lifting of lockdowns that could lead to additional outbreaks of the deadly novel coronavirus,
also dented market sentiment, analysts said.
    "This whole week has been fairly risk off. There's a lot of factors to point to, from Powell, to
Fauci, to Trump," said John Doyle, vice president of dealing and trading, at Tempus Inc. in Washington.
    "Still, the dollar is king when this happens," he added.
    U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was disappointed with China over its failure to
contain the coronavirus, and that the pandemic cast a pall over his U.S.-China trade deal.
    His comments stoked concerns about renewed U.S.-China trade tensions.
    Against a basket of its rivals, the dollar was up 0.3% at 100.41, hitting a three-week high of
100.56 earlier in the session.
    Though Powell was the latest in a parade of policymakers to brush off the notion that rates may go
negative, Fed futures were pricing a small chance of sub-zero U.S. rates by May next year.

    Powell said the recovery could take some time as he warned of a recession worse than any since World
War Two.    
    "His words were a blow to the optimism that had been building in the markets over the last few weeks
as the relaxation of social distancing restrictions had generated expectations of a V-shaped recovery from
the virus crisis," said Raffi Boyadjian, senior investment analyst at XM.
    Data showing millions more Americans, including white-collar workers, filed for unemployment benefits
last week only cemented bids on the dollar. 
    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 2.981 million for the
week ended May 9. That was down from 3.176 million in the prior week and marked the sixth straight weekly
    The euro was down 0.2% against the dollar at $1.0793.
    The Australian dollar fell sharply after data showed the country shed jobs in April at the fastest
pace on record, suggesting more monetary and fiscal easing may be needed to support the economy. The
Aussie dollar was last down 0.4% at US$0.6430.
    The pound also tumbled below the $1.22 line for the first time in more than five weeks after
Wednesday's data showed  Britain's economy shrank by a record 5.8% in March as the coronavirus crisis
    Currency bid prices at 10:28AM (1428 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.0809        $1.0816     -0.06%         -3.58%      +1.0824     +1.0776
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        106.9000       107.0200    -0.11%         -1.80%      +107.1000   +106.7800
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     115.58         115.77      -0.16%         -5.22%      +115.8600   +115.3400
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9718         0.9719      -0.01%         +0.41%      +0.9755     +0.9714
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2204         1.2229      -0.20%         -7.96%      +1.2241     +1.2167
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.4102         1.4099      +0.02%         +8.59%      +1.4139     +1.4069
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.6431         0.6454      -0.36%         -8.40%      +0.6467     +0.6405
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.0507         1.0517      -0.10%         -3.18%      +1.0521     +1.0506
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8854         0.8842      +0.14%         +4.73%      +0.8870     +0.8832
 NZ               NZD=        0.5980         0.5990      -0.17%         -11.22%     +0.6003     +0.5958
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        10.2203        10.1643     +0.55%         +16.43%     +10.2722    +10.1533
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     11.0490        11.0000     +0.45%         +12.31%     +11.0792    +10.9870
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.8428         9.8082      +0.21%         +5.30%      +9.8938     +9.8089
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.6389        10.6161     +0.21%         +1.62%      +10.6640    +10.6164
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Saikat Chatterjee in London
Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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