December 27, 2018 / 9:21 PM / a month ago

FOREX-Yen, Swiss franc rise as investors embrace safety

    * 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 after Wall Street close)
    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
    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 0.3 percent against the dollar at 111.035 yen. This followed an almost 1 percent loss,
its biggest percentage fall since April 23.
    The Swiss franc climbed 0.83 percent to 0.9875 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 96.558.
    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 6.875 yuan, up 0.28
    The Australian dollar, seen as a proxy for China's growth because of Australia's export-reliant
economy, fell 0.51 percent.
    With Brent oil prices falling over 4 percent on Thursday, the greenback rose against commodity-linked
currencies. The dollar was up 0.31 percent against its Canadian counterpart, while the New
Zealand dollar fell 0.46 percent.
    Currency bid prices at 4:01PM (2101 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1437        $1.1351     +0.76%         -4.66%      +1.1455     +1.1351
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        111.0200       111.3500    -0.30%         -1.46%      +111.3800   +110.4600
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     127.04         126.40      +0.51%         -6.02%      +127.0700   +126.0100
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9876         0.9956      -0.80%         +1.37%      +0.9957     +0.9843
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2650         1.2632      +0.14%         -6.38%      +1.2674     +1.2617
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3613         1.3570      +0.32%         +8.24%      +1.3660     +1.3566
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7032         0.7065      -0.47%         -9.86%      +0.7077     +0.7017
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.1296         1.1300      -0.04%         -3.36%      +1.1312     +1.1242
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.9039         0.8983      +0.62%         +1.76%      +0.9059     +0.8979
 NZ               NZD=        0.6699         0.6728      -0.43%         -5.46%      +0.6740     +0.6694
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.7665         8.7649      +0.02%         +6.82%      +8.8050     +8.7383
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     10.0290        9.9509      +0.78%         +1.82%      +10.0580    +9.9386
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.0059         9.1014      -0.25%         +9.81%      +9.0988     +8.9930
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.3050        10.3310     -0.25%         +4.74%      +10.3485    +10.2660

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