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FOREX-Dollar rises as investors eye virus restrictions, political uncertainties

    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

 (Updates prices, adds comment, changes byline, previous
dateline London)
    By Sinéad Carew
    NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) - The dollar was gaining ground
on Tuesday as investors sought safety for the second day in a
row while they eyed new restrictions aimed at curbing  surging
coronavirus cases in Europe, the latest U.S.-China tensions and
Washington's lack of progress on reaching a fiscal stimulus
agreement.
   Sterling wavered between losses and gains, at one point
slipping to two-month lows against the dollar, as British Prime
Minister Boris Johnson unveiled new restrictions to tackle a
second wave of the virus.
    "Those types of moves give the market pause. As we all know
the virus doesn't live in a vacuum and what you see in one
country or region will affect other places. Economically it
could have an effect," said Minh Trang, senior FX trader at
Silicon Valley Bank.  
    "Typically when there's some fear in the market and some
unknowns, investors would flow toward the dollar as a temporary
safe haven."
    Trang also noted that the dollar, which has been weak since
July, seemed to be hitting a floor with its slide, taking a
pause in reaction to news from central banks as well as the
virus.
   In remarks released late Monday ahead of his testimony to a
congressional committee on Tuesday, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair
Jerome Powell said the Fed remained committed to using all the
tools at its disposal to help the U.S. economy recover from the
coronavirus pandemic.
    A research report from Action Economics on Tuesday also
cited issues such as deteriorating relations with China as well
as deadlock in Washington over an aid package aimed at
bolstering the economy. 
    U.S. President Donald Trump was set to tell the United
Nations General Assembly it "must hold China accountable for
their actions" related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to
excerpts from a speech he was to deliver on Tuesday. 

    The S&P pared its opening gains, though it was still in
positive territory by late morning as it bounced back slightly
from Monday's sell-off. Also on Monday currency investors
shunned risk and pushed the dollar index to its highest point in
almost six weeks.
    The dollar was last up 0.23% at 93.783 versus a
basket of currencies.
    In Spain, the army has been asked to help fight a
coronavirus surge in Madrid, while restrictions in other
European countries were announced last week, with Germany
describing the situation as "worrying."

    You-Na Park-Heger, FX analyst at Commerzbank said that even
though Commerzbank does not expect  more extensive lockdowns,
the possibility may weigh on market sentiment for some time.
    "A rapid correction of yesterday's move is therefore
unlikely to be seen any time soon," she said.
    The Australian dollar, after earlier falling to its lowest
point against the greenback in almost a month, was last down
0.21% at 0.7208 per dollar after the Reserve Bank of
Australia said it is assessing policy options including currency
market intervention and negative rates.
    The euro was down 0.31% against the dollar at $1.1733
, while the dollar was gaining on the yen for the
second day in a row, up 0.11% at 104.760. 
    Sterling was down 0.36% at $1.2768, though above its session
low of $1.2711.
    
    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 10:21AM (1421 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1733        $1.1769     -0.31%         +4.67%      +1.1773     +1.1721
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        104.7600       104.6400    +0.11%         -3.77%      +104.8400   +104.4100
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     122.92         123.17      -0.20%         +0.80%      +123.2700   +122.6600
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9173         0.9143      +0.33%         -5.22%      +0.9175     +0.9138
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2768         1.2814      -0.36%         -3.70%      +1.2866     +1.2715
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3293         1.3306      -0.10%         +2.36%      +1.3345     +1.3283
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7208         0.7223      -0.21%         +2.66%      +0.7235     +0.7179
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.0763         1.0762      +0.01%         -0.82%      +1.0771     +1.0746
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.9188         0.9183      +0.05%         +8.68%      +0.9220     +0.9145
 NZ               NZD=        0.6658         0.6666      -0.12%         -1.16%      +0.6687     +0.6640
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                  
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        9.3050         9.2791      +0.28%         +6.00%      +9.3677     +9.2725
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     10.9170        10.9300     -0.12%         +10.97%     +10.9880    +10.9135
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        8.8754         8.8414      +0.00%         -5.05%      +8.8963     +8.8403
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.4133        10.4134     +0.00%         -0.52%      +10.4290    +10.3845
 
    

 (Additional reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York
and  Elizabeth Howcroft in London, editing by Larry King, 
Catherine Evans and Jonathan Oatis)
  
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