April 29, 2020 / 1:59 PM / a month ago

FOREX-Dollar drops as Coronavirus treatment hopes boosts risk sentiment

 (Adds details, updates prices; changes byline, dateline;
previous LONDON)
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

    By Karen Brettell
    NEW YORK, April 29 (Reuters) - The dollar fell on Wednesday
as stocks surged after Gilead Sciences reported an encouraging
update on a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus, which
has shut down businesses and battered the global economy.
    Gilead's experimental antiviral drug remdesivir
helped improve symptoms in COVID-19 patients who were given the
drug early more than among those who were treated later, the
company said.
    It also comes as optimism grows that businesses globally are
getting closer to reopening, which has boosted risk appetite and
reduced demand for the U.S. currency.
    “We’re seeing increasing chatter about economies opening up
around the world, so that would suggest that the global economic
reboots could happen sooner rather than later,” said Joe
Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Business Solutions on
Washington. “That’s risk positive and negative for (safe) haven
assets.”
    The greenback fell 0.26% against a basket of currencies
 to 99.62, above a two-week low of 99.44 hit on Tuesday.
    The Australian dollar, which is seen as a proxy for
global growth, jumped 0.57% to $0.6527. It earlier reached
$0.6547, the highest since March 10.
    The greenback also dipped after data showed that the U.S.
economy contracted in the first quarter.
    The Commerce Department said gross domestic product fell at
a 4.8% annualized rate in the January-to-March period after
expanding at a 2.1% rate in the final three months of
2019.
    The dollar reaction to the data was not “huge,” but “I think
it’s going to pour cold water over hopes of a V-shape recovery.
And I think it also validates fears that second-quarter growth
could be in line with some of the more dire forecasts of a 40%
contraction,” Manimbo said.
    The Federal Reserve will conclude its two-day meeting later
on Wednesday, when policymakers are expected to keep their
promise to do whatever it takes to support the world's largest
economy.
    The dollar has weakened more than 3% after scaling a more
than three-year peak of 102.99 in late March as global central
banks launched massive stimulus measures to protect economies
from the coronavirus pandemic.
    The euro gained 0.43% to $1.0865 before a European
Central Bank meeting on Thursday.
    

    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 9:37AM (1337 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.0865        $1.0818     +0.43%         -3.08%      +1.0874     +1.0819
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        106.5700       106.8600    -0.27%         -2.10%      +106.8900   +106.3700
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     115.80         115.62      +0.16%         -5.04%      +115.9200   +115.4600
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9713         0.9750      -0.38%         +0.36%      +0.9754     +0.9714
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2443         1.2421      +0.18%         -6.16%      +1.2485     +1.2390
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3924         1.3993      -0.49%         +7.22%      +1.4003     +1.3918
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.6527         0.6490      +0.57%         -7.04%      +0.6547     +0.6487
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.0555         1.0549      +0.06%         -2.74%      +1.0575     +1.0548
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8731         0.8705      +0.30%         +3.28%      +0.8755     +0.8695
 NZ               NZD=        0.6099         0.6054      +0.74%         -9.46%      +0.6114     +0.6052
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                  
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        10.3313        10.3962     -0.62%         +17.69%     +10.4387    +10.3340
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     11.2260        11.2548     -0.26%         +14.12%     +11.2983    +11.2253
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.8695         9.8838      +0.26%         +5.59%      +9.9007     +9.8431
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.7251        10.6978     +0.26%         +2.44%      +10.7355    +10.6891
 
    

    
 (Reporting by Karen Brettell; Additional reporting by Saikat
Chatterjee and Thyagaraju Adinarayan in London; Editing by
Jonathan Oatis)
  
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