December 27, 2018 / 8:51 PM / 6 months ago

FOREX-Yen, Swiss franc gain as investors embrace safety

    * Investors rethink risk as stock market rally falters
    * Trump mulls ban on China's Huawei, ZTE products -sources
    * China industrial firms' profits drop, 1st time in 3 years
    * Commodity currencies slump vs dollar as oil prices fall
    * GRAPHIC-World FX rates in 2018:

 (Updates market action, adds quote)
    By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Richard Leong
    NEW YORK, Dec 27 (Reuters) - The yen and Swiss franc rose on Thursday as traders
embraced the safe-haven currencies as trading on Wall Street turned volatile after data
showed a deterioration in U.S. consumer confidence.
    Renewed worries about U.S.-China trade tension rekindled a dumping of U.S. stocks
earlier, though stocks reversed course in late trade, with the Dow and the S&P
500 turning positive. 
    Reuters reported the Trump administration was considering an executive order in the
new year to declare a national emergency that would bar U.S. companies from using
Huawei Technologies          and ZTE products.
    Commodity-linked currencies sagged as oil prices weakened near 18-month lows on
excess supply.
    "Everyone is getting leery with this kind of market volatility this time of the
year," said Joseph Trevisani, senior analyst at FXStreet in New York.
    The yen was up !RIC {JPY=EBS} is invalid percent against the dollar at !RIC
{JPY=EBS} is invalid yen. This followed an almost 1 percent loss, its biggest
percentage fall since April 23.
    The Swiss franc climbed !RIC {CHF=EBS} is invalid percent to !RIC {CHF=EBS} is
invalid franc per dollar, reversing most of its 1.1 percent drop on Wednesday.
    More broadly, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major
currencies, was 0.51 percent lower at 96.556.
    Earlier on Thursday, a measure of U.S. consumer confidence posted its sharpest
decline in more than three years in December.
    "The dollar has had a great rally this year but it doesn't have much more in it to
go further, especially if you are seeing the Fed slow down in rates," said Minh Trang,
senior currency trader at Silicon Valley Bank in Santa Clara, California.
    The Federal Reserve last week raised interest rates for the fourth time this year,
but rate futures show traders are skeptical the U.S. central bank will raise rates at
all next year.     
    In addition to some softening of U.S. business activities, data on Thursday showed
earnings at China's industrial firms in November dropped for the first time in nearly
three years in a sign of rising risks to the world's second-largest economy.

    However, the Chinese yuan strengthened against the dollar in offshore trading at
!RIC {CNH=EBS} is invalid yuan, up !RIC {CNH=EBS} is invalid percent.
    The Australian dollar, seen as a proxy for China's growth because of
Australia's export-reliant economy, fell 0.62 percent.
    With Brent oil prices falling over 4 percent on Thursday, the greenback rose
against commodity-linked currencies. The dollar was up 0.34 percent against
its Canadian counterpart, while the New Zealand dollar fell 0.52 percent.
    Currency bid prices at 1526 EST (2026 GMT):
 Description      RIC      Last      U.S. Close  Pct      YTD Pct  High Bid   Low Bid
                                     Previous    Change   Change              
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=     $1.1439   $1.1351     +0.78    -4.66    +1.1455    +1.1351
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=     110.9000  111.3500    -0.40    -1.57    +111.3800  +110.4600
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=  126.91    126.40      +0.40    -6.12    +126.9300  +126.0100
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=     0.9877    0.9956      -0.79    +1.38    +0.9957    +0.9843
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=     1.2637    1.2632      +0.04    -6.48    +1.2674    +1.2617
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=     1.3625    1.3570      +0.41    +8.33    +1.3660    +1.3566
 Australian/Doll  AUD=     0.7024    0.7065      -0.58    -9.96    +0.7077    +0.7017
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=  1.1299    1.1300      -0.01    -3.34    +1.1312    +1.1242
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=  0.9049    0.8983      +0.73    +1.88    +0.9059    +0.8979
 NZ               NZD=     0.6698    0.6728      -0.45    -5.48    +0.6740    +0.6695
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=     8.7733    8.7649      +0.10    +6.90    +8.8050    +8.7383
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=  10.0353   9.9509      +0.85    +1.90    +10.0580   +9.9386
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=     9.0129    9.1014      -0.16    +9.89    +9.0988    +8.9930
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=  10.3146   10.3310     -0.16    +4.83    +10.3485   +10.2660

 (Reporting by Richard Leong and Saqib Iqbal Ahmed 
Additional reporting by Saikat Chatterjee in London
Editing by Leslie Adler)
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