FOREX-Dollar slumps to 6-week low with all eyes on interest rate moves

 (Revises throughout, updates prices, adds quote)
    * Dollar slumps to 6-week low
    * British pound nearly reaches $1.40
    * Markets look to Wednesday for interest rate clues
    * MSCI EM FX index hits 1-month high
    * Bitcoin stabilizes near $55,750 after weekend plunge 
    * Graphic: World FX rates

    By David Henry
    NEW YORK, April 19 (Reuters) - The dollar slumped to a six-week low against other major currencies on
Monday as markets sorted out the plunge in U.S. Treasury yields last week after the Federal Reserve
reiterated that any spike in inflation is likely to be temporary.
    Improved risk sentiment shown by the recent rally in global stocks to record highs also weighed on the
    The dollar index fell 0.58% to 91.082, continuing a downtrend that started at the end of March.
    With the moves, the British pound gained 1% to come within a hair of $1.40 for the first time
since March 18. More evidence of the economic recovery in Britain from the pandemic is expected from data to
be released later this week.    
    The greenback's weakness was pronounced across the board, with the currency hitting multi-week lows
against other major peers in the G10 group of currencies, including the Japanese yen, the Swiss franc, the
Australian dollar and the New Zealand dollar, and the euro.
    The moves are the reverse of what was happening in the first three months of the year when the dollar
gained against the same major currencies as yields rose on U.S. Treasuries and offered higher returns on the
greenback, said Joseph Trevisani, senior analyst at FXSTREET.COM.
    The degree of the dollar's weakness during Monday trading seemed to track the yield on the 10-year
Treasury which was last up slightly to $1.5994 after having plunged to 1.5280% on Thursday from a one-year
high of 1.7760% in March.
    The dollar index had gained 3.6% in the first three months of the year before turning down.
    "Indeed, the USD rally is all but distant memory by now and the currency's underperformance seems to
reflect the apparent divergence in the outlook between the slumping UST yields and the rather perky bond
yields elsewhere," said Valentin Marinov, head of G10 FX research at Credit Agricole. 
    "This is almost the exact opposite of the moves we saw in March," Marinov said.  
    The euro rose above $1.20 for the first time since March 4 to $1.2037 in the afternoon in New
York. The European Central Bank meets on Thursday with internal divisions over the pace of bond-buying,
extended COVID-19 lockdowns and potential delays to the EU recovery fund forming the backdrop.
    The market is in a period of consolidation in U.S. yields and the dollar exchange rates, according to
Masafumi Yamamoto, the chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.
    The dollar bought 108.135 yen on Monday afternoon and reached its weakest level since March 5.
    MSCI's emerging market currency index hit its highest level in a month and last traded 0.15% higher on
the day. 
    Fed Governor Christopher Waller said on CNBC on Friday that the U.S. economy "is ready to rip" as
vaccinations continue and activity picks up, but a rise in inflation is likely to be transitory, echoing
comments from other U.S. central bank officials, including Chair Jerome Powell, over the past week.

    Their statements have clashed with market expectations that Fed officials will see signs of rising
inflation in strong economic data and decide to tighten monetary policy sooner than they have indicated.
    The currency and bond markets are looking to two events on Wednesday for clues to where interest rates
are going: An auction of $24 billion of 20-year U.S. Treasuries and statements from the Bank of Canada about
when it might cut bond purchases and allow rates to rise. 
    The Bank of Canada may foreshadow what is coming for U.S. rates by signalling a tightening of monetary
policy, said Trevisani. "That's the direction the Fed is going to have to go, too, eventually," he said.
    Bitcoin slipped about 1% to $55,782 on Monday afternoon in New York in a day of relatively
steady trading after plunging on Sunday.
    Data website CoinMarketCap cited a blackout in China’s Xinjiang region, which reportedly powers a lot of
bitcoin mining, for the selloff.
    Currency bid prices at 3:13PM (1913 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct       High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                   
 Dollar index                 91.0820        91.6180     -0.58%         1.224%        +91.7480    +91.0310
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.2037        $1.1983     +0.45%         -1.48%        +$1.2048    +$1.1943
 Dollar/Yen                   108.1350       108.7900    -0.60%         +4.66%        +108.8250   +108.0100
 Euro/Yen                     130.15         130.34      -0.15%         +2.54%        +130.3200   +129.7100
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9149         0.9201      -0.57%         +3.40%        +0.9215     +0.9130
 Sterling/Dollar              $1.3986        $1.3850     +0.99%         +2.38%        +$1.3993    +$1.3811
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2535         1.2510      +0.20%         -1.56%        +1.2544     +1.2472
 Aussie/Dollar                $0.7756        $0.7734     +0.30%         +0.84%        +$0.7784    +$0.7706
 Euro/Swiss                   1.1013         1.1023      -0.09%         +1.91%        +1.1029     +1.0993
 Euro/Sterling                0.8606         0.8661      -0.64%         -3.73%        +0.8672     +0.8590
 NZ                           $0.7177        $0.7148     +0.43%         -0.03%        +$0.7197    +$0.7117
 Dollar/Norway                8.2930         8.3665      -0.79%         -3.34%        +8.4110     +8.2830
 Euro/Norway                  9.9861         10.0290     -0.43%         -4.59%        +10.0532    +9.9704
 Dollar/Sweden                8.4002         8.4277      +0.09%         +0.00%        +8.4762     +8.3784
 Euro/Sweden                  10.1121        10.1032     +0.09%         +0.35%        +10.1257    +10.0819
 (Reporting by David Henry in New York and Ritvik Carvalho in London; Additional reporting by Kevin Buckland
in Tokyo; Editing by Larry King; Paul Simao and Andrea Ricci)