March 25, 2020 / 12:44 PM / 8 days ago

FOREX-Dollar slips on $2 trillion U.S. plan, 'riskier' currencies gain

* White House and Senate agree $2 trillion aid package

* Aussie dollar, Sterling, Norwegian crown all gain

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E (Adds graph, updates pricing)

By Iain Withers

LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) - The dollar slipped on Wednesday after U.S. politicians agreed a $2 trillion stimulus package that steadied money market nerves and prompted investors to buy back into ‘riskier’ currencies.

The export-exposed Australian dollar and Norwegian crown made sharp gains, while sterling also rallied from the lows of recent weeks, which were precipitated by a scramble for dollars.

Panicked investors fearful about the coronavirus pandemic had liquidated almost everything for dollars, with the world’s most liquid currency seen as a haven in times of crisis.

U.S. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell announced a breakthrough on a package to shield the world’s largest economy from the economic fallout of the outbreak. It will be put to a vote on Wednesday.

“We are seeing the most oversold currencies bought back on the back of the stimulus package,” said Kenneth Broux, FX strategist at Societe Generale.

“The pandemic is still spreading and policymakers have put all their chips on the table. We will have to wait now to see how things will pan out,” Broux added.

The dollar fell against a basket of currencies, last down 0.2%.

Among the big gainers was the Norwegian crown, up more than 2% on the day as it moved further away from record lows hit last week.

The Australian dollar and British pound were both up around 1%, while the euro edged up more than 0.2%.

The dollar barely shifted against the Japanese yen and Swiss franc, both also seen as safe havens.

The U.S. stimulus follows coordinated action by central banks around the world to boost the supply of dollars in an attempt to ease stress in money markets.

Expected price swings on some of the world’s most actively traded currencies retreated, with implied volatility on one-month euro-dollar and pound-dollar options falling.

But there was no similar swing in cross-currency volatility in the Japanese yen versus the dollar, which analysts said reflected Japanese investors still struggling to snap up U.S. dollars ahead of the country’s fiscal year-end next week.

“There’s a lot of reasons to believe that we’re not out of the woods yet. People still feel that the downside risk is far more prevalent,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Melbourne brokerage Pepperstone.

Reporting by Iain Withers; Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook in SINGAPORE; Editing by Alexander Smith and Alex Richardson

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