Dollar Falls As Omicron Worries Mitigate; The Australian gets up

Australian dollars can be seen in an illustrative photo on February 8, 2018. REUTERS / Daniel Munoz

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  • Australian dollar hits highest in one week
  • Dollar index down 0.5%

NEW YORK, Dec. 8 (Reuters) – The dollar fell against several of its major counterparts on Wednesday, as concerns allayed over the economic blow from the Omicron COVID-19 variant helped support riskier currencies, the dollar Australian being on course to climb a third straight session of gains.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, slipped 0.4% to 95.854. The index remains close to the 16-month high reached at the end of last month.

“Concerns over Omicron appear to be fading slightly, especially as increasing data – although unconfirmed – emerges indicating that infections caused by the new variant are milder than previously thought,” Michael said. Brown, senior analyst at payments firm Caxton, in a note.

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Investor appetite for riskier assets improved this week amid reports that people infected with the Omicron variant in South Africa had shown only mild symptoms.

Preliminary evidence indicates that the new variant likely has a higher degree of transmissibility but is less severe, America’s leading infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday. Read more

Commodity-linked currencies, including the Australian dollar, were the main beneficiaries of the improvement in risk sentiment.

The Australian dollar was up 0.8% to $ 0.7177, its highest level in a week.

The recent move by China – a major trading partner of Australia – to boost its slowing economy has also supported the Australian currency, Caxton’s Brown said.

The Canadian dollar was largely unchanged after the Bank of Canada kept its overnight key rate at 0.25%, as expected, and maintained its forecast that a first hike could take place as early as April 2022. .

The Norwegian krone appreciated about 1.8% against the US dollar, helped by improving risk sentiment and rising oil prices.

The pound was 0.05% lower that day, after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday imposed tighter COVID-19 restrictions in England, ordering people to work from home, wear masks in places public and use vaccine passes to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Read more

Bitcoin was roughly flat on Wednesday at $ 50,567.89, as senior executives from six major cryptocurrency companies, including Coinbase and Circle, urged Congress to provide clearer rules for the burgeoning industry. boom of $ 3 trillion. Read more

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Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; Editing by Paul Simao and Andrea Ricci

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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