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FOREX-Dollar squeezed as virus drives easing expectations

    * Dollar index steady after five sessions of losses
    * Yen claws back post-vaccine losses
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

    By Tom Westbrook
    SYDNEY, Nov 19 (Reuters) - The dollar nursed losses after
five sessions of decline and the yen held on to most of its
recent gains on Thursday, as investors worried about rising
coronavirus deaths and began to wager on more monetary stimulus
from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
    The dollar touched its lowest since early last week against
a basket of currencies overnight and has ceded ground
broadly, even with equity markets slipping, as mixed economic
data underscored the fragility of the U.S. recovery.
    The dollar index is down about 0.2% for the week so far and,
at 92.549, is less than 1% above a two-year low hit in
September.
    The safe-haven yen, meanwhile, has recouped almost three
quarters of the steep loss it suffered last week when Pfizer
announced its COVID-19 vaccine.
    Moves in Asian morning trade were slight, with the yen
 a fraction weaker at 103.92 per dollar, but not far above
an eight-month high of 103.18 made two weeks ago.
    The New Zealand dollar and Norwegian krone
likewise hung on to most of Wednesday's gains. The Aussie
 lagged a little as a fresh coronavirus outbreak
prompted a new hard lockdown in South Australia.
    It was marginally softer at $0.7295, and saw no immediate
boost from better-than-expected labour data.
    "Central bankers continue to offer promises of almost
endlessly easy money," said Societe Generale currency strategist
Kit Juckes.
    "That, when U.S. COVID infection rates are causing enough
concern about growth prospects to offset vaccine news, has kept
the dollar on the backfoot, even as equities soften."
    The largest public school district in the United States, in
New York City, will halt in-person teaching from Thursday to try
to curb COVID-19's spread, as U.S. deaths near a world-record of
a quarter-million lives lost to the respiratory disease.
    The United States remains in a "severe recession" and growth
vulnerable to swings in infection rates, New York Federal
Reserve President John Williams said on Wednesday, who
reiterated the bank would use all its tools to help the economy.

    Elsewhere, hopes of a post-Brexit trade deal have kept
sterling supported, and the euro was steady, though both dipped
slightly as the dollar held its ground in Asia on Thursday.
    Sterling last traded 0.2% softer at $1.3234 and the
common currency at $1.1839.
    The Chinese yuan sat near a 29-month high in offshore trade
.
    U.S. jobs figures will be closely watched on Thursday for
guidance on the Fed's next moves. At 1000 GMT European Central
Bank President Christine Lagarde appears at a European
Parliament Committee hearing in Frankfurt.
    
    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 11:32AM in Sydney(0032 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.1838        $1.1854     -0.13%         +5.59%      +1.1854     +1.1832
 Dollar/Yen                   103.9150       103.8200    +0.09%         -4.33%      +103.9750   +103.7450
 Euro/Yen                     123.02         123.05      -0.02%         +0.88%      +123.1200   +122.9900
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9122         0.9112      +0.12%         -5.73%      +0.9125     +0.9114
 Sterling/Dollar              1.3236         1.3268      -0.23%         -0.20%      +1.3268     +1.3230
 Dollar/Canadian              1.3091         1.3085      +0.06%         +0.79%      +1.3096     +1.3077
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7295         0.7306      -0.14%         +3.97%      +0.7305     +0.7284
 NZ                           0.6909         0.6923      -0.19%         +2.69%      +0.6924     +0.6910
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Volatilities 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ 

 (Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Sam Holmes)
  
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