Dollar, safe-haven currencies buoyed by U.S. coronavirus anxiety

TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar and other safe-haven currencies were well bid on Friday after a surge in new coronavirus cases in the United States further undermined the case for a quick economic recovery.

More than 60,000 new COVID-19 infections were reported across the United States on Wednesday, the greatest single-day tally by any country in the pandemic so far, discouraging some American consumers to return to public spaces.

The caution helped to lift the dollar index .DXY to 96.798 from near one-month low of 96.233 touched on Thursday.

The euro fell to $1.1288 EUR=, slipping back after having scaled a one-month high of $1.1371 on Thursday.

Against the safe-haven yen, the dollar traded at 107.20 yen JPY=, having touched its lowest level in 10 days in the previous trade.

The Swiss franc also strengthened to its highest level in six weeks against the euro, to 1.0609 franc per euro EURCHF=.

Against the dollar, the franc changed hands at 0.9407 per dollar CHF= after having touched a four-month high of 0.93625 to the dollar.

“The market was in a mild risk-off mood, following pretty bad coronavirus figures from Florida,” said Kyosuke Suzuki, director of currencies at Societe Generale.

Some market players also said a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a New York prosecutor can obtain President Donald Trump’s financial records could have undermined risk sentiment and boosted dollar as he faces an uphill battle for re-election.

Trump has fought tenaciously to keep his tax returns and other elements of his finances secret.

Many risk-sensitive currencies took a step back following their rally in recent weeks.

The Australian dollar stood at $0.69605 AUD=D4, off Thursday’s one-month high of $0.7001.

Commodity currencies lost traction also as oil prices dipped on worries about the renewed lockdowns in some parts of the United States.

The yuan, which often tends to align with risk-sensitive currency groups, bucked the trend, supported by hopes of capital inflows as Chinese shares prices have surges after Beijing indicates it wants a healthy bull market.

The offshore yuan traded at 6.999 yuan per dollar CNH=, down about 0.03% in early Asian trade, having touched near-four-month high of 6.9808 on Thursday.

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