FOREX-Dollar holds gains versus yen before major economic data

Reuters

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    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
    * Dollar up versus yen but weak against commodity currencies
    * U.S. economy is improving but coronavirus remains a risk
    * Mixed signals stymie trade in euro

    By Stanley White
    TOKYO, July 1 (Reuters) - The dollar held onto gains against
the yen on Wednesday ahead of data expected to show U.S.
manufacturing activity and hiring continued to recover from the
economic shock caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
    The euro was hemmed into a narrow range as traders awaited
data on Germany's manufacturing sector, retail sales, and the
jobless rate to gauge the health of the eurozone economy.
    A surge in coronavirus infections in the U.S. south and
southwest has worried some market participants, but most
investors are betting this will not be enough to derail a
broader rebound in the global economy.
    "The dollar will be supported against the yen if U.S.
economic data are positive, but U.S. yields are not rising much
because of speculation about yield curve control," said Shusuke
Yamada, head of foreign exchange and Japan equity strategy at
Merrill Lynch Japan Securities.
    "The euro looks stable, but there are questions about Brexit
and the pace of economic reopening, which means the euro could
soon be overvalued."
    The dollar traded at 107.99 yen  JPY=  in Asia on Wednesday,
close to the highest in three weeks.
    The mood for the yen soured after Bank of Japan data showed
business sentiment fell to an 11-year year low.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nT9N2DA007
    The euro  EUR=D3  held steady at $1.1234. Against the
British pound, the common currency  EURGBP=  traded at 90.65
pence following a 0.9% decline on Tuesday.
    Sterling  GBP=D3  bought $1.2394 as it held on firmly to the
previous session's gains, but traders may be reluctant to buy
the pound further due to worries about Britain's trade
negotiations with the European Union.
    The U.S. Institute for Supply Management's purchasing
managers' index (PMI) for manufacturing due later on Wednesday
is forecast to show that activity in June continued to recover
from an 11-year low marked in April, when the coronavirus
paralysed large swathes of the global economy.
    Investors also await the closely-watched U.S. nonfarm
payrolls report on Thursday, which is expected to show the
economy added 3 million jobs in June.
    The dollar has managed to remain strong against the yen due
to signs of economic revival, but the greenback has failed to
make headway against commodity currencies, showing that some
investors remain wary of downside risks.
    Normally Treasury yields would rise due to an improving
economy, but benchmark 10-year yields  US10YT=RR  have moved in
a narrow range around 0.65% since mid June, when Federal Reserve
Chairman Jerome Powell said policymakers discussed yield curve
control, which can be used to cap bond yields.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2DN2YL
    The Australian dollar  AUD=D3  bought $0.6895 on Wednesday
following a 0.5% gain on Tuesday.
    The New Zealand dollar  NZD=D3  stood at $0.6447, also
holding onto gains from the previous session.
    The Swiss franc  CHF=D3 , a currency traditionally sought as
a safe haven during times of heightened risk, also perked up
against the greenback, which shows that positive economic data
alone is not enough to support broad-based dollar gains.
    The euro has lacked conviction amid mixed signals about the
eurozone economy and limited progress in talks on the future
trade relationship between Britain and the EU.
    Data due later on Wednesday from Germany are expected to
show retail sales in Europe's largest economy fell at a slower
pace but the manufacturing sector continued to contract, which
could hurt sentiment for the euro.

 (Reporting by Stanley White; editing by Richard Pullin)
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