July 9, 2020 / 3:18 AM / a month ago

Dollar steadies near multi-week lows, yuan shines again

TOKYO (Reuters) - The dollar nursed losses against most currencies on Thursday as a rally in riskier assets such as global equities and commodities put a dent in safe-haven demand for the U.S. currency.

FILE PHOTO: Saudi riyal, yuan, Turkish lira, pound, U.S. dollar, euro and Jordanian dinar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

China’s yuan rose to a four-month high against the greenback, extending recent gains as investors of all stripes increase positions in Chinese stocks due to growing optimism about the world’s second-largest economy.

Lingering worries about the spread of the coronavirus and a light calendar in Asia could keep some currency pairs in a tight range, but the dollar’s losses are gradually increasing as sentiment favours riskier bets on long-term economic growth.

“Rising stocks and a dip in Treasury yields are slight negatives for the dollar, but the market can’t move too far because we still have to worry about the virus,” said Minori Uchida, head of global market research at MUFG Bank.

“A lot of major U.S. economic data have been positive, so this will be less of a trading factor going forward. People are looking for cues from stocks, yields, and hedging costs.”

The dollar bought 0.9381 Swiss franc CHF= on Thursday in Asia, close to the lowest in almost four months.

Against the euro EUR=, the dollar was quoted at $1.1339, close to a three-week low.

The euro could get a boost later in the day as Germany is scheduled to release export data. Economists expect shipments from the euro zone’s largest economy to rebound sharply in May from a large decline in the previous month.

The greenback was also close to a three-week low against the pound GBP=, last trading at $1.2613.

Sterling held steady at 89.91 pence per euro EURGBP=D3.

The dollar was little changed at 107.33 yen JPY=.

Asian stocks rose on Thursday, following gains in the tech-heavy Nasdaq .IXIC to a record closing high on Wednesday.

The onshore yuan CNY=CFXS rose to 6.9875 per dollar, breaking past the closely watched level of 7 to reach the highest since March 17.

China’s currency has been a star performer against the dollar as investors shrug off diplomatic tension between Washington and Beijing to focus on China’s improving economy and its attractive technology sector.

The yuan has risen around 2.6% from a seven-month trough against the dollar set on May 27.

While some investors are reluctant to take big positions before the traditional summer holiday season amid uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic, analysts said sentiment favours more U.S. dollar declines as investors try to look past a recent spike in coronavirus cases in some countries.

Elsewhere in currencies, the Australian dollar AUD=D3 stood at $0.6978, close to its strongest level in a month.

The New Zealand dollar NZD=D3 was little changed at $0.6573, also close to a one-month high.

Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Stephen Coates and Ana Nicolaci da Costa

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