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FOREX-Dollar strengthens as vaccine, stimulus hopes dim

    * Euro, sterling fall against dollar
    * U.S. dollar index up on stimulus doubts, vaccine
uncertainty
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

 (Adds Eli Lilly drug trial details, updates prices)
    By Chuck Mikolajczak
    NEW YORK, Oct 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar strengthened on
Tuesday as investors turned cautious after a Johnson & Johnson
COVID-19 study was paused and as hopes dimmed that a fiscal
stimulus package could be reached before the presidential
election. 
    Major equity averages were lower, partly due to a decline in
J&J shares after the company paused its study due to an
unexplained illness in a participant, dampening optimism about a
vaccine. Eli Lilly also said its clinical trial for a
COVID-19 antibody treatment was paused.
    U.S. consumer prices rose 0.2% in September, matching
expectations, for a fourth straight monthly climb, though the
pace has slowed amid considerable slack in the economy as it
slowly recovers from a nadir caused by coronavirus shutdowns.

    The dollar index rose 0.528% against a basket of
other currencies, putting it on track for its biggest daily
percentage gain in three weeks.     
    The U.S. currency's safe-haven appeal has been curbed by
growing expectations that a win by former U.S. Vice President
Joe Biden on Nov. 3 would bring large stimulus for the
pandemic-hit economy, bolstering the stock market and investor
risk appetite. 
    "It’s becoming increasingly evident to people that there is
no stimulus coming before the election," said Erik Nelson, a
currency strategist at Wells Fargo in New York. 
    "I wouldn’t say markets were fully pricing stimulus or fully
pricing a vaccine by the end of the year but they were probably
tilted towards the more positive side of those expectations."  
    The greenback has held within a range of about 2% over the
past three weeks as talks on a fiscal deal have progressed in
fits and starts. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the
Republican-led U.S. Senate would vote on a scaled-down
coronavirus economic relief bill of the type Democrats have
rejected as they hold out for trillions in aid.
    The euro was down 0.59% to $1.1745 while the
Japanese yen weakened 0.17% versus the greenback.
    Sterling was last trading at $1.2938, down 0.96%,
after climbing above the $1.30 mark for the first time in a
month on Friday as Britain's unemployment rate rose by more than
expected to 4.5% in the three months to August. 
    In addition, as a deadline draws closer, British Prime
Minister Boris Johnson told his top cabinet ministers on Tuesday
he wanted a free trade deal with the European Union on the right
terms but ending the year without one held "no fear."

    
    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 2:54PM (1854 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.1745        $1.1815     -0.59%         +4.76%      +1.1815     +1.1730
 Dollar/Yen                   105.4850       105.3550    +0.15%         -2.86%      +105.6200   +105.2900
 Euro/Yen                     123.88         124.40      -0.42%         +1.58%      +124.4700   +123.8100
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9146         0.9092      +0.61%         -5.47%      +0.9155     +0.9091
 Sterling/Dollar              1.2937         1.3066      -0.99%         -2.47%      +1.3067     +1.2922
 Dollar/Canadian              1.3140         1.3109      +0.24%         +1.15%      +1.3146     +1.3100
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7153         0.7211      -0.81%         +1.94%      +0.7210     +0.7151
 Euro/Swiss                   1.0741         1.0738      +0.03%         -1.02%      +1.0745     +1.0726
 Euro/Sterling                0.9077         0.9040      +0.41%         +7.37%      +0.9081     +0.9020
 NZ                           0.6641         0.6647      -0.09%         -1.31%      +0.6670     +0.6630
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                  
 Dollar/Norway                9.2420         9.1545      +1.03%         +5.44%      +9.2465     +9.1390
 Euro/Norway                  10.8564        10.7914     +0.60%         +10.35%     +10.8598    +10.7769
 Dollar/Sweden                8.8268         8.7884      -0.20%         -5.57%      +8.8294     +8.7569
 Euro/Sweden                  10.3672        10.3884     -0.20%         -0.97%      +10.4100    +10.3307
 

    

 (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak
Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)
  
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