• Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E
  • Dollar off to firmer start in Asia
  • Optimism and pessimism in tug-of-war
  • Pound eyes gradual easing of coronavirus lockdown

By Stanley White

TOKYO, May 11 (Reuters) – The dollar rose against most of its major peers on Monday as moves by the us and other countries to re-open their economies raised hopes for a quicker global recovery from a deep recession triggered by the coronavirus health crisis.

Sterling was little changed against the dollar and therefore the euro after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined plans to slowly ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Data on Friday showed the us shed 20.5 million jobs in April, the steepest plunge in payrolls since the good Depression, but traders are beginning to look past such grim economic numbers as they back future growth.

“The bad news about the U.S. labour market was just about needless to say , and other people now assume that economic activity will restart sooner instead of later within the us and Europe,” said Tohru Sasaki, head of Japan markets research at J.P. Morgan Securities in Tokyo.

“We don’t need to be so bearish on the dollar.”

While the dollar often trades as a safe-haven asset given its reserve currency status, it’s recently developed some direct correlation with Wall Street as investors specialise in yields.

On Friday, Wall Street indexes rallied, defying the gloom from one among the worst U.S. jobs reports in decades.

The dollar rose 0.23% to 106.90 yen on Monday in Asia, and was steady at $1.0847 against the euro.

The U.S. currency changed hands at 0.9706 Swiss franc .

The Australian dollar , which is usually traded as a proxy for risk due to its close ties to China’s economy and global commodities, recovered from an early fall and rose to$0.6549.

Across the Tasman Sea , the New Zealand dollar also rose against its U.S. counterpart to $0.6148.

California, Michigan, and Ohio, three important states for U.S. manufacturing, are taking steps to permit factories and a few businesses to resume add a lift to sentiment.

Currency futures suggest the greenback could still edge higher.

Speculators trimmed net short positions within the U.S. dollar to $9.148 billion within the week ended May 5 from $10.23 billion the previous week, consistent with calculations by Reuters and U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.

Some traders say uncertainty about the virus still poses downside risks for the dollar.

Vice President Mike Pence isn’t in quarantine and plans to be at the White House on Monday, a spokesman said on Sunday, despite media reports that he was self-isolating after a staffer tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

However, three senior officials guiding the U.S. response to the pandemic have chosen to self-quarantine.

In the onshore market, the yuan traded at 7.0772, little changed on the day.

Officials in China have reported a replacement cluster of infections within the northeastern province of Jilin, which is another cause for concern.

The novel coronavirus first emerged in China late last year then spread across the world .

The pound was little changed at $1.2432 on Monday in Asia. Against the euro, sterling held steady at 87.28 pence.

Johnson, during a televised address on Sunday, announced a limited easing of coronavirus restrictions that have shuttered much of the economy for weeks, including encouraging some people to return to figure .

The government wants the remainder of the uk to require an equivalent approach, but there have been immediate divisions, with the leaders of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland saying they were sticking with the prevailing “stay-at-home” message.

Johnson’s government has faced criticism over its handling of the pandemic. At nearly 32,000, Britain’s coronavirus price is that the second highest within the world, behind the us . (Reporting by Stanley White Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Sam Holmes)


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