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FOREX-Dollar jumps as stocks tumble; rising COVID-19 cases dent risk appetite

    * Dollar gains against Yen after hitting 6-month low
    * Investors go risk-off as investors flee stocks
    * Fed speakers in focus this week
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

 (Updates prices, adds commentary, changes byline, previous dateline was London)
    By Sinéad Carew
    NEW YORK, Sept 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar index soared on Monday and riskier currencies fell as
investors looked for safety while stock markets around the world tumbled on fears of the economic
implications of rising COVID-19 cases.
    The euro and the Australian dollar fell against the greenback, and equities on Wall Street
followed Asian and European stock markets lower, as the threat of new pandemic-related lockdowns prompted
concerns about the global recovery.
    U.S. investors fretted about the ability of U.S. Congress to reach an agreement for more fiscal
stimulus.
    "What we're seeing here this morning for the dollar is largely a risk-off safe haven bid," said Erik
Bregar, head of FX strategy at Exchange Bank of Canada in Toronto, adding that the trigger was in the
European morning on rising fears of a new U.K. nationwide lockdown.
    "It's scary stuff that reminds you of March," he said.
    The dollar - subdued during Asian hours - perked up in London trade as European stocks sank to
two-week lows and U.S. stock futures fell.
    The index that measures the greenback against a basket of peer currencies was last up 0.64% at
93.555.
    
    RISK SENTIMENT
    The greenback also managed to bounce back from a six-month low to turn flat against Japan's yen, which
last traded at 104.56 against the dollar after earlier hitting 104.00, which was its lowest point since
March 12. 
    "If it takes out the 104 level vis-à-vis the dollar, it (yen) can really take off and then all eyes
are going to be on the Bank of Japan because they wouldn't like it one bit," said Exchange Bank of
Canada's Bregar.
    Marshall Gittler, head of research at BDSwiss, said the yen's rise was part of a typical "risk-off"
move in FX markets with the exception of the Swiss franc, which turned weaker.
    "With the pickup in foreign bond yields for Japanese investors getting less and less, capital flows
out of Japan may fall even further," he said. 
    Key for the U.S. currency's direction this week will be a slew of Federal Reserve speakers, who may
shed light on the U.S. central bank's new approach to inflation.
    Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is due to appear before Congressional committees, while Fed committee
members Lael Brainard, Charles Evans, Raphael Bostic, James Bullard, Mary Daly and John Williams are also
making public speeches.
    "If Jerome Powell and the rest of the Fed speakers don't really add more meat to the Fed plans for how
it's going to reach an average 2% inflation I could see the U.S. dollar trading even higher this week,"
said Bregar at Exchange Bank of Canada.
    The euro traded 0.8% lower than the dollar at $1.1743 . Sterling also fell 0.9% to trade at
$1.28 as the dollar gained steam. 
    The Australian dollar traded down 1.2% against the greenback at US$0.7204, while the New
Zealand dollar was down 1.5% at $0.6658.
    
    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 10:37AM (1437 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1737        $1.1837     -0.84%         +4.70%      +1.1871     +1.1737
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        104.5500       104.5500    +0.00%         -3.96%      +104.8200   +104.0100
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     122.70         123.78      -0.87%         +0.62%      +123.9300   +122.5300
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9156         0.9116      +0.44%         -5.39%      +0.9159     +0.9088
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2799         1.2915      -0.90%         -3.48%      +1.2966     +1.2801
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3304         1.3204      +0.76%         +2.45%      +1.3306     +1.3172
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7201         0.7289      -1.21%         +2.54%      +0.7324     +0.7201
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.0746         1.0792      -0.43%         -0.98%      +1.0799     +1.0740
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.9167         0.9162      +0.05%         +8.43%      +0.9196     +0.9148
 NZ               NZD=        0.6657         0.6759      -1.51%         -1.17%      +0.6777     +0.6658
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                  
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        9.3138         9.0931      +2.43%         +6.10%      +9.3156     +9.0646
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     10.9329        10.7666     +1.54%         +11.13%     +10.9339    +10.7600
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        8.8651         8.7470      +0.25%         -5.16%      +8.8661     +8.7383
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.4045        10.3781     +0.25%         -0.62%      +10.4185    +10.3714
 
 (Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York, Ritvik Carvalho in London and Tom
Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Angus MacSwan, Alison Williams and Bernadette Baum)
  
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