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FOREX-Dollar drifts lower in choppy holiday trading

FOREX-Dollar drifts lower in choppy holiday trading

reuters.com · 12/29/2021 11:10
FOREX-Dollar drifts lower in choppy holiday trading

Euro drops below $1.13, dollar gains

Broad risk appetite helps Aussie, hurts yen

Euro zone bond yields rise 1 to 3 bps

Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

Changes dateline to New York from London, adds analyst comments, updates prices

By John McCrank

- The dollar edged lower in thin holiday trading on Wednesday, while the safe-haven yen touched a one-month low as investors looked beyond a surge in Omicron cases.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six global peers, was down 0.282% at 95.859, having been slightly positive in the overnight session.

With many traders having taken time off ahead of the year-end, analysts said it was hard to read too much into the moves.

"In times like these we trade very technically as short term jobbers try to eek out some final year-end gains," Brad Bechtel, global head of FX at Jefferies, said in a note to clients.

FX flows have been on the "lighter side of usual for a month end, corroborating the view that most of that flow happened last week or even sooner," he added.

Investor sentiment has been buoyed in recent days by signs the Omicron variant, while causing a jump in cases to record highs in many countries, is not leading to new, widespread lockdowns.

U.S. health authorities on Monday shortened the recommended isolation time for Americans with asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 to five days from a previous guidance of 10. nL4N2TC20R

Risk-sensitive currencies such as the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars, were higher, while stocks were mixed.

"The Omicron variant continues to rage and fails to register on this market, even as global cases topped a million for the second day running," said Saxo Bank analysts.

The Aussie AUD= was up 0.44% at $0.7257, the Kiwi NZD= was up 0.37% at $0.68305, and the loonie CAD= rose 0.04% to C$1.2810.

The euro EUR=EBS gained 0.4% to $1.13555, while sterling GBP=D3 rose 0.4% to $1.34815.

The Japanese yen JPY=EBS touched 115.04 to the dollar, its lowest since late November. While the yen has been battered by the strength of investors' risk appetite, analysts said end-of-quarter investor flows were also impacting the currency.

Elsewhere, Turkey's lira dropped more than 5% TRYTOM=D3 to around 12.45 per dollar, eating further into huge gains made the previous week, as worries persisted over soaring inflation and unorthodox monetary policy. nL8N2TE0QA

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin BTC=BTSP was last up 0.76% at $47,905, while ether, ETH=BTSP the world's second-largest cryptocurrency, was flat at $3,793.


(Reporting by John McCrank in New York; additional reporting by Tommy Wilkes and Stefano Rebaudo in London; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bernadette Baum)

((john.mccrank@thomsonreuters.com Twitter @jmccrank; 1 646 223-6643; Reuters Messaging: john.mccrank.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))