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FOREX-Dollar slips on improving European, U.K. economic outlooks, commodities bounce
Published at 22/02/2021 at 16:09

(Revises throughout, updates prices, new byline, changes dateline, previous LONDON)

* Dollar index slips again

* Australian dollar makes three-year peak

* Sterling gains as lockdown finish line comes in to view

* Bitcoin tumbles as much as 16% in drop below $50,0000

* Graphic: World FX rates

By David Henry and Julien Ponthus

NEW YORK/LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar resumed its slide against major currencies and reached multi-year lows against the British pound and the Australian dollar on Monday, as traders focused on whether coronavirus vaccinations, economic growth expectations and higher inflation could push bond yields higher.

The U.S. dollar index was last down 0.07% in mid-morning trading in New York, ticking up from earlier lows.

The dollar has been trending down since early February following a January bounce from a 7% decline in 2020.

"The dollar continues to wax and wane with U.S. data that have painted a mixed picture of the world’s biggest economy," Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions, said in a note on Monday.

Weakness in U.S. employment keeps undermining dollar rallies as the markets see wavering jobs data reinforcing the Federal Reserve's commitment to keep interest rates low, Manimbo added.

The euro rose 0.2% against the dollar to $1.2142 after data showed German business morale rose more than expected in February thanks notably to the country's resilient industrial sector.

Exchange rates between the euro and dollar will depend "on whether the U.S. economy really will be able to achieve a stronger post-lockdown boom than Europe," Commerzbank analyst Ulrich Leuchtmann said.

The British pound was last up 0.2% to $1.4032 after reaching 1.4050, its highest level since April 2018, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a path out of lockdowns on the back of rapid vaccinations.

The U.S. dollar fell to three-year lows against the Australian dollar, which benefits from rising commodity prices. The Aussie hit $0.7908, its highest level since March 2018.

"Commodity currencies and the pound are particularly strong against the dollar, and this trend looks set to continue," said Yukio Ishizuki, foreign exchange strategist at Daiwa Securities.

Australia on Monday began its mass COVID-19 vaccine programme as the country looked set to report no local cases for the third straight day, which gave the Aussie a boost.

Bitcoin plunged on Monday after surging to a new record high a day earlier as a sell-off in global equities curbed risk appetite and traders cited the unwinding of highly leveraged long positions in the cryptocurrency.

The cryptocurrency fell as much as 16%, at one point going as low as $47,400.

========================================================

Currency bid prices at 1445 GMT

Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change

Session

Euro/Dollar $1.2142 $1.2118 +0.21% -0.61% +1.2154 +1.2092

Dollar/Yen 105.2600 105.4900 -0.14% +1.99% +105.8400 +105.3400

Euro/Yen 127.81 127.75 +0.05% +0.70% +128.2400 +127.7000

Dollar/Swiss 0.8958 0.8965 -0.07% +1.26% +0.9023 +0.8957

Sterling/Dollar 1.4032 1.4001 +0.24% +2.72% +1.4051 +1.3980

Dollar/Canadian 1.2633 1.2619 +0.13% -0.78% +1.2653 +1.2581

Aussie/Dollar 0.7894 0.7868 +0.33% +2.62% +0.7908 +0.7855

NZ 0.7326 0.7297 +0.41% +2.03% +0.7337 +0.7282

Dollar/Dollar

All spots Tokyo spots Europe spots Volatilities Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ World FX rates German IFO

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>

(Reporting by David Henry in New York and Julien Ponthus in London Additional reporting by Stanley White in Tokyo Editing Larry King and Paul Simao)

((David.Henry@thomsonreuters.com; +1-332-219-1974; Reuters Messaging: david.henry.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))