May 6, 2020 / 2:51 PM / 22 days ago

FOREX-U.S. dollar, yen outperform amid poor global economic data

    * U.S. private sector job losses hit more than 20 mln in April
    * Euro zone, UK manufacturing data shows steep contraction
    * Japanese yen rises to 7-week high vs U.S. dollar
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

 (Recasts, adds new comment, U.S. data, updates prices)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, May 6 (Reuters) - The safe-haven yen and dollar rose on Wednesday, as investors sought
refuge in these currencies in the wake of dire global economic numbers.
    The yen rose to a seven-week high against the dollar and a 3-1/2-peak versus the euro. The dollar rose
to its highest in more than a week against a basket of major currencies.
    Manufacturing data in the euro zone and the UK painted a bleak picture, undermining the single
European currency and sterling. 
    U.S. private payrolls data also showed a record of more than 20 million jobs lost in April as shown
the ADP National Employment Report, but the dollar held gains.
    "We had some weak data out of Europe and the UK manufacturing data was also pretty poor, similar to
the U.S. numbers," said Shaun Osborne, chief FX strategist, at Scotiabank in Toronto.
    "It's no surprise that these numbers are terribly weak. The ADP number was terrible and we kind of
went 'yawn'. But it's a staggering number. I think we're being conditioned to logically expect these types
of numbers." 
    In Europe, euro zone business activity almost ground to a halt last month as government-imposed
lockdowns to stop the spread of the coronavirus forced factories, shops and restaurants to close and
recreation to cease, a survey showed.
    Retail sales in the euro zone also suffered their largest decline on record in March.
    In the UK, British construction suffered its sharpest decline on record, more than twice as large as
the previous month, even though general construction work was not ordered by the government to stop as
part of the lockdown intended to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
    In late morning trading, the dollar index rose 0.3% to 100.100, climbing earlier to a more than
one-week high of 100.200.
    Against the yen, the dollar fell 0.4% to 106.11 yen, after dropping to a seven-week low of
106.06 yen.
    The euro was down 0.3% against the dollar at 1.0802, hitting a nearly two-week low. It
resumed its decline after a court decision challenged German participation in the euro zone's  stimulus
programme.
    Germany's highest court on Tuesday gave the European Central Bank three months to justify purchases
under its bond-buying programme, or lose the Bundesbank's participation in one of its main stimulus
schemes. 
    The ECB is expected to be able to justify its bond purchases, so the German court decision is unlikely
to derail the euro zone's stimulus efforts. But the uncertainty is only the latest strain on Europe's
coronavirus response and undermines the euro zone project and the euro.    
    The fact that speculators are now long the euro also undermines its current levels, analysts said.
Leveraged funds have trimmed their long positions on the euro, but the number of longs is still close to
their two-year highs.
    
    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 10:39AM (1439 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.0794        $1.0838     -0.41%         -3.69%      +1.0847     +1.0783
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        106.1400       106.5800    -0.41%         -2.49%      +106.6200   +106.0600
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     114.60         115.46      -0.74%         -6.03%      +115.5800   +114.5800
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9749         0.9725      +0.25%         +0.76%      +0.9758     +0.9722
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2348         1.2434      -0.69%         -6.87%      +1.2449     +1.2350
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.4127         1.4045      +0.58%         +8.79%      +1.4136     +1.4023
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.6428         0.6430      -0.03%         -8.47%      +0.6452     +0.6417
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.0526         1.0542      -0.15%         -3.00%      +1.0547     +1.0522
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8741         0.8714      +0.31%         +3.39%      +0.8747     +0.8699
 NZ               NZD=        0.6032         0.6050      -0.30%         -10.45%     +0.6072     +0.6033
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                  
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        10.2918        10.2619     +0.29%         +17.24%     +10.3165    +10.2385
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     11.1129        11.1249     -0.11%         +12.96%     +11.1489    +11.0795
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.8559         9.8374      -0.16%         +5.43%      +9.8750     +9.8066
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.6417        10.6586     -0.16%         +1.65%      +10.6647    +10.6200
 
    
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Olga Cotaga in London; Editing by David
Gregorio)
  
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