FOREX-Dollar, yen in retreat as risk sentiment revives, Musk lifts bitcoin

Reuters

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    By Kevin Buckland
    TOKYO, July 22 (Reuters) - The safe-harbour U.S. dollar and
yen remained on the back foot on Thursday, after pulling back
from multi-month highs amid a recovery in risk appetite as
strong earnings lifted Wall Street stocks.
    Cryptocurrencies rallied after Tesla Inc  TSLA.O  CEO Elon
Musk said the company would "most likely" resume accepting
bitcoin for payment.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2OX39P
    The dollar index  =USD , which measures the currency against
six major peers, stood at 92.810 after pulling back from a 3
1/2-month high of 93.194 touched on Wednesday.
    The yen traded at 130.045 per euro  EURJPY=EBS , from an
almost four-month top of 128.610 earlier this week, and at 81.00
to Australia's dollar  AUDJPY=EBS , from a 5 1/2-month peak of
79.85.
    "Strong earnings have swept away Delta concerns in the
U.S.," weighing on haven currencies, National Australia Bank
analyst Tapas Strickland wrote in a note to clients.
    "The consensus is that (the Delta strain) does not pose an
immediate risk to the recovery," delaying reopening by three
months at the most as countries ramp up vaccination drives in
response, he said.
    Sterling  GBP=D3  traded at $1.3708, recovering from a 5
1/2-month trough of $1.35725 reached on Tuesday, despite rising 
Delta variant cases in Britain and confusion about the lifting
of restrictions in England.
    The Aussie  AUD=D3  changed hands at $0.7350, from an
eight-month low of $0.72895 the previous day, even with half the
Australian population under lockdown.
    The euro  EUR=EBS  stood at $1.1789, rising off Wednesday's
3-1/2-month low of $1.1752 ahead of a closely watched European
Central Bank policy decision later in the global day.
    Policymakers will implement for the first time changes to
their strategy and are all but certain to promise an even longer
period of stimulus to make good on its commitment to boost
inflation.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2OX1SP
    Analysts generally see ECB dovishness weakening the euro
over the medium-term.
    "On balance, the ECB’s new inflation target suggests
monetary policy will remain ultra-accommodative for an even
longer period of time," which will act as a headwind for the
euro, Commonwealth Bank of Australia strategists Kim Mundy and
Carol Kong wrote in a research note.
    "Indeed, we expect the ECB will be one of the last central
banks under our coverage to tighten policy."
    In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin  BTC=BTSP  held Wednesday's
7.9% jump - the biggest since mid-June - to trade around
$32,200.
    Rival ether  ETH=BTSP  traded just below $2,000 following a
12% surge.

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 (Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Sam Holmes)
 ((Kevin.Buckland@thomsonreuters.com;))

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