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FOREX-U.S. dollar rises; yen, Swiss franc skid as Omicron worries ebb

    * WHO says new variant carries high risk of infection surge
    * Biden says U.S. not going back to lockdowns this winter
    * Yen, Swiss franc fall vs dollar
    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

 (Adds new comment, updates prices)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The dollar firmed on Monday while the safe-haven yen and Swiss franc
weakened, reversing some of Friday's moves as governments around the world sought further information on the
most recent mutation and its impact.
    The Omicron variant here,
 first detected in southern Africa, prompted a financial markets sell-off on Friday on fears it would
further disrupt a growing economic recovery after the two-year pandemic.
    The World Health Organization said on Monday the variant carried a very high risk of infection surges as
more countries closed borders.
    In the United States, President Joe Biden said the country would not go back to lockdowns this winter,
but urged people to get vaccinated, get their boosters and wear masks.
    Markets calmed somewhat on Monday, with U.S. stock and oil prices rebounding as investors took a more
balanced view, waiting until the impact of the variant becomes clearer. 
    The U.S. dollar index, which had its biggest one-day drop since May on Friday, rose 0.2% to 96.367
.
    The dollar's status as a safe haven means it benefits from uncertainty, but it fell on Friday because
investors saw the Omicron variant as possibly affecting the timing of the Federal Reserve's and other major
central banks' plans to raise interest rates.
    "Another challenge to the global economic recovery seems to indicate that it benefits the buck as a safe
haven," said Juan Perez, FX strategist and trader at Tempus Inc in Washington. 
    "This variant is fresh and it even looks like the medical community wants to minimize whatever negative
economic impact news on it could have. Our take is that once more we are at the mercy of the disease that
has been with us for two years, but this time it also feels like we are more prepared to keep life going
anyway," he added.
    Euro-dollar one-month volatility hit its highest since December 2020 on Monday before dropping back down
. 
    The euro, which rose versus the dollar on Friday, was down 0.4% at $1.1271.
    Japan's yen slid against the dollar, which rose 0.2% to 113.76 yen. 
    The Swiss franc likewise reversed recent moves. On Friday it had its biggest one-day jump versus the
dollar since June 2016, a slightly bigger daily move than at the peak of the first coronavirus-induced
market shock in March 2020
    Like the dollar, both the yen and Swiss franc tend to gain in times of financial stress.
    On Monday, however, the Swiss franc was down 0.3% versus the greenback at 0.9244 francs per U.S. dollar
.
    Analysts said currency markets would likely remain volatile until the new variant was better understood.
    Goldman Sachs said it would not change its economic forecasts on the basis of the Omicron variant until
its likely impact became clearer.
    In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin hit a seven-week low on Sunday before picking up. It was last up 1.2% at
$58,016. Its all-time high of $69,000 was hit earlier this month.
    
    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 3:04 PM (2004 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct       High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                   
                                              Session                                             
 Dollar index                 96.3010        96.1980     +0.12%         7.024%        +96.4480    +96.1380
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.1276        $1.1315     -0.34%         -7.71%        +$1.1335    +$1.1259
 Dollar/Yen                   113.6850       113.4950    +0.17%         +10.03%       +113.9500   +112.9900
 Euro/Yen                     128.18         128.36      -0.14%         +0.99%        +128.5600   +127.5000
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9243         0.9220      +0.29%         +4.52%        +0.9273     +0.9234
 Sterling/Dollar              $1.3296        $1.3330     -0.28%         -2.70%        +$1.3362    +$1.3288
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2767         1.2800      -0.24%         +0.28%        +1.2793     +1.2722
 Aussie/Dollar                $0.7130        $0.7114     +0.21%         -7.33%        +$0.7159    +$0.7114
 Euro/Swiss                   1.0420         1.0441      -0.20%         -3.58%        +1.0453     +1.0415
 Euro/Sterling                0.8478         0.8482      -0.05%         -5.14%        +0.8485     +0.8447
 NZ                           $0.6805        $0.6830     -0.35%         -5.22%        +$0.6838    +$0.6788
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                    
 Dollar/Norway                9.0420         9.0895      -0.48%         +5.34%        +9.1035     +9.0225
 Euro/Norway                  10.1964        10.2371     -0.40%         -2.59%        +10.2765    +10.1718
 Dollar/Sweden                9.0815         9.1368      -1.13%         +10.80%       +9.1613     +9.0763
 Euro/Sweden                  10.2400        10.3575     -1.13%         +1.62%        +10.3585    +10.2224
 
    
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft in London; Editing by Ed
Osmon, Alison Williams and Dan Grebler)
  
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