May 17, 2019 / 6:22 PM / 3 months ago

FOREX-Dollar gains as European concerns hurt euro, sterling

 (Adds Salvini comments, updates prices)
    By Karen Brettell
    NEW YORK, May 17 (Reuters) - The dollar rose on Friday as
concern about next week's European parliamentary elections
dented demand for the euro, while the British pound dropped to a
four-month low on worries about Britain's exit from the European
    The dollar has been favored as a safe-haven currency even as
the U.S.-China trade war escalates.
    The euro has been hurt this week by Italian Deputy Prime
Minister Matteo Salvini's comments that European Union rules
harm his country.
    The elections will shake up the continent, leading to a
relaxation of budget rules and influencing the choice of the
next central bank chief, Salvini said on Friday.
    "The market is a little bit concerned about European
elections. It seems to be a flow into the dollar as a bastion of
last resort," said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of
foreign exchange strategy at BK Asset Management in New York.
    The euro briefly pared losses after the White House said
President Donald Trump is delaying a decision for as long as six
months on whether to impose tariffs on imported cars and parts
to allow for more time for trade talks with the EU and Japan.

    Sterling fell to the lowest since Jan. 15 after cross-party
Brexit talks collapsed and concern grew about the impact Prime
Minister Theresa May's likely resignation would have on
Britain's exit from the EU.
    The offshore Chinese yuan fell to its lowest levels since
November after China said the United States must show sincerity
if it is to hold meaningful trade talks as Trump dramatically
raised the stakes with a potentially devastating blow to Chinese
tech giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd         .
    The world's two largest economies are locked in an
increasingly acrimonious trade dispute in which they have
imposed escalating tariffs on each other's imports.
    "Rhetoric from both sides is getting more heated, making a
U.S.-China deal seem a long way off," Win Thin, global head of
currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York, said
in a report.
    "At this point, this means there will be no high-level
negotiations between the two until a potential Trump-Xi
(Jinping) meeting at the G20 meeting in late June. This means
the next round of tariffs will likely come into play, signaling
further escalation and making a deal that much harder," Thin
    The Australian dollar dropped to its lowest level
since Jan. 3 on the escalating trade tensions.
    Data on Friday showed U.S. consumer sentiment jumped to a
15-year high in early May on growing confidence over the
economy's outlook, though much of the surge was recorded before
the trade war escalation.
    Currency bid prices at 2:06PM (1806 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1161        $1.1172     -0.10%         -2.69%      +1.1184     +1.1156
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        110.0300       109.8400    +0.17%         -0.21%      +110.1700   +109.5100
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     122.83         122.73      +0.08%         -2.69%      +122.9700   +122.2900
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        1.0108         1.0098      +0.10%         +3.00%      +1.0121     +1.0086
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2727         1.2795      -0.53%         -0.24%      +1.2807     +1.2720
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3442         1.3457      -0.11%         -1.42%      +1.3513     +1.3434
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.6871         0.6892      -0.30%         -2.53%      +0.6897     +0.6872
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.1283         1.1284      -0.01%         +0.26%      +1.1299     +1.1270
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8770         0.8730      +0.46%         -2.38%      +0.8778     +0.8728
 NZ               NZD=        0.6519         0.6534      -0.23%         -2.95%      +0.6546     +0.6520
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.7795         8.7440      +0.41%         +1.63%      +8.7897     +8.7399
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.8015         9.7821      +0.20%         -1.05%      +9.8142     +9.7764
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.6403         9.6370      -0.06%         +7.55%      +9.6536     +9.6178
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.7633        10.7703     -0.06%         +4.86%      +10.7888    +10.7490

 (Reporting by Karen Brettell; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Dan
Grebler and Richard Chang)
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