U.S. dollar slides as vaccine news offsets surge in virus cases

U.S. producer prices fall in June, dollar weaker

  
A test tube labelled with the coronavirus is seen in front of U.S. dollar banknotes, in this illustration taken on March 1, 2020.

A test tube labelled with the coronavirus is seen in front of U.S. dollar banknotes, in this illustration taken on March 1, 2020.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

NEW YORK - The dollar slipped on Friday, as its safe-haven allure diminished, on hopes of a potential vaccine for the novel coronavirus that outweighed concerns about the surge in infections in the United States and around the world.

The U.S. currency posted its largest weekly percentage loss against a basket of major currencies in a month.

On Friday, Gilead Sciences Inc said additional data from a late-stage study showed its antiviral remdesivir reduced the risk of death and significantly improved the conditions of severely ill COVID-19 patients.

That helped a rally in U.S. stocks and pushed the dollar lower.

"When we talk about the dollar these days, it's about the correlation with risk and that's still happening now," said John Doyle, vice president for dealing and trading, at Tempus, Inc. in Washington.

"I think the vaccine news is offsetting the surge in cases," he added.

More than 60,500 new COVID-19 infections were reported across the United States on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally, the largest one-day increase in any country since the pandemic emerged in China last year. 

But analysts said currency investors may be looking forward to the treatments being developed for the virus.

In late afternoon trading, the dollar index fell 0.2% to 96.624.

The dollar also slid after U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell 0.2% in June, following a 0.4% rebound in May, as the economy battles depressed demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Reflecting the market's increased risk appetite, the euro, rose 0.2% against the dollar to $1.1300, while the British pound was up 0.1% at $1.2631.

The dollar also fell to a two-week low against the safe-haven yen. It was last down 0.3% at 106.92 yen.

The yen has been trading in a narrow range despite the ebbs and flows of risk sentiment, as one-month implied and historical volatility close to its record low. But, according to Monex, technical indicators in the options market are signalling investor concerns about future outbreak in volatility.

"The options market foresees increasing volatility risks in the barely flat dollar/yen pair through the second half of the year, similar to warnings during the financial crisis," Monex analysts said in a note.

The Chinese yuan in the offshore market, meanwhile, was down about 0.2% at 7.0114 per U.S. dollar, having touched a near-four-month high of 6.9808 on Thursday.

The Chinese currency has gained almost 1% this week, supported by hopes of capital inflows as share prices rebounded after Beijing indicated it wants a healthy bull market.

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Currency bid prices at 3:03PM (1903 GMT) Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change

Session Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.1294 $1.1281 +0.12% +0.75% +1.1324 +1.1256 Dollar/Yen JPY= 106.9400 107.1900 -0.23% -1.76% +107.2600 +106.6500 Euro/Yen EURJPY= 120.79 120.95 -0.13% -0.95% +121.0600 +120.2800 Dollar/Swiss CHF= 0.9415 0.9402 +0.14% -2.72% +0.9431 +0.9386 Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.2623 1.2604 +0.15% -4.80% +1.2663 +1.2568 Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.3588 1.3584 +0.03% +4.64% +1.3631 +1.3575 Australian/Doll AUD= 0.6943 0.6963 -0.29% -1.11% +0.6969 +0.6925 ar Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.0637 1.0609 +0.26% -1.98% +1.0640 +1.0608 Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.8948 0.8949 -0.01% +5.84% +0.8970 +0.8938 NZ NZD= 0.6569 0.6568 +0.02% -2.48% +0.6588 +0.6547 Dollar/Dollar Dollar/Norway NOK= 9.4465 9.4645 -0.19% +7.61% +9.5467 +9.4115 Euro/Norway EURNOK= 10.6736 10.6843 -0.10% +8.49% +10.7545 +10.6565 Dollar/Sweden SEK= 9.1988 9.2331 -0.27% -1.59% +9.2814 +9.1694 Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 10.3914 10.4200 -0.27% -0.75% +10.4527 +10.3778

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by David Gregorio and Chizu Nomiyama) ((gertrude.chavez@thomsonreuters.com; 646-301-4124; Reuters Messaging: rm://gertrude.chavez.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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