August 7, 2019 / 1:54 PM / 4 months ago

FOREX-Global growth concerns boost safe havens: yen, Swiss franc

    * New Zealand central bank cuts rates to record low
    * India, Thailand's central banks also cut rates
    * Safe havens in demand on global growth concerns

 (New throughout, updates trading and comments to U.S. market
open, new byline, changes dateline, previous LONDON)
    By Karen Brettell
    NEW YORK, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Safe haven currencies the
Japanese yen and Swiss franc gained on Wednesday after New
Zealand’s central bank cut interest rates by more than expected,
feeding concerns about the weak global economy.
    The Reserve Bank of New Zealand cut its official cash rate
to a record low of 1% and flagged the possibility of using
negative rates to stimulate the economy, sending its currency to
3-1/2 year lows. The Reserve Bank of India and the
Bank of Thailand also cut rates.
    While central banks globally are adopting a more dovish
outlook, investors remain worried.
    “You’ve seen a couple of central banks ease policy today,
some by more than expected, and you’re still seeing a more
cautious market backdrop,” said Erik Nelson, a currency
strategist at Wells Fargo in New York.
    “I think there may still be some lingering concern over how
much this easing will really support the global economy, or just
maybe the idea of monetary policy impotence is in investors
minds here,” Nelson said.
    The New Zealand dollar was last down 1.47% at $0.6427
, bouncing off the session low of $0.6379. The Aussie fell
0.49% to $0.6725 as markets ramped up bets that Australia
would cut rates faster and deeper than expected. The session low
for the Australian dollar was $0.6678, the lowest since early
2009.
    The Japanese yen gained 0.66% to 105.74 against the
greenback, nearing an eight-month high of 105.51 reached on
Tuesday. The Swiss franc gained 0.37% to 0.9727 against
the U.S. currency.
    The escalating U.S.-China trade war is adding to economic
headwinds and hurting business sentiment. Last week, U.S.
President Donald Trump said he would impose more tariffs on
Chinese goods. On Monday, China responded by allowing its
currency to weaken past 7 per dollar for the first time since
2008, and Washington labeled Beijing a currency manipulator.
    The yuan weakened on Wednesday, but held above an 11-year
low reached the previous session, before Beijing appeared to
take steps to stabilize the currency.
    The offshore yuan fell 0.52% to 7.0891.

    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 9:24AM (1324 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1216        $1.1198     +0.16%         -2.21%      +1.1220     +1.1180
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        105.7400       106.4700    -0.66%         -4.10%      +106.4700   +105.7200
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     118.64         119.22      -0.49%         -6.02%      +119.2800   +118.4600
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9727         0.9763      -0.37%         -0.89%      +0.9797     +0.9725
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2143         1.2166      -0.19%         -4.81%      +1.2190     +1.2122
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3328         1.3278      +0.38%         -2.27%      +1.3344     +1.3269
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.6725         0.6760      -0.49%         -4.60%      +0.6782     +0.6678
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.0912         1.0933      -0.19%         -3.04%      +1.0959     +1.0912
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.9233         0.9200      +0.36%         +2.77%      +0.9241     +0.9189
 NZ               NZD=        0.6427         0.6523      -1.47%         -4.32%      +0.6557     +0.6379
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                  
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.9360         8.9046      +0.35%         +3.44%      +8.9500     +8.8888
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     10.0245        9.9730      +0.52%         +1.20%      +10.0373    +9.9613
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.6154         9.5824      +0.45%         +7.27%      +9.6254     +9.5643
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.7862        10.7377     +0.45%         +5.09%      +10.7956    +10.7253
 
 (Additional reporting by Tommy Wilkes in London; Editing by
David Gregorio)
  
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