Dollar rises on safe-haven bid, stocks mixed

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar continued to rise on Tuesday and stocks were mixed as new economic curbs to control the spread of COVID-19 raised the fear of a second wave of lockdowns that could reverse the nascent economic rebound.

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Crude rose after a hard fall on Monday while stocks in Europe and Wall Street offset most of the losses elsewhere. The dollar index =USD was having its strongest two-day run since April.

Sterling took a hit after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Britons to go back to working from home, along with new curbs on pubs, bars and restaurants that he said could be in place for as long as six months without some form of vaccine.

“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.”

The dollar index =USD rose 0.468%, with the euro EUR= down 0.55% to $1.1704.

The Japanese yen weakened 0.36% versus the greenback at 105.03 per dollar, while Sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.2719, down 0.74% on the day.

The risk off sentiment was not enough to drag U.S. stocks into the red, but it did put a lid on gains that follow a sharp drop in equities on Monday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 26.74 points, or 0.1%, to 27,120.96, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 12.17 points, or 0.37%, to 3,293.23 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 76.26 points, or 0.71%, to 10,855.06.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 0.20% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 0.01%.

Emerging market stocks lost 0.85%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS closed 1.11% lower.

U.S. Treasury debt yields edged lower, with benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last up 1/32 in price to yield 0.6675%, from 0.671% late on Monday.

Oil prices rose as analysts took the view that renewed lockdown restrictions would have only a limited impact on fuel demand, partly reversing a steep drop in prices the previous day.

U.S. crude CLc1 recently rose 0.56% to $39.53 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 was at $41.74, up 0.72% on the day.

Spot gold XAU= dropped 0.5% to $1,902.56 an ounce.

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