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FOREX-Dollar essentially unchanged as Treasury yields hold steady

    * Dollar inches higher, commodity currencies drop
    * Yuan falls after mixed Chinese data
    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

 (Updates to U.S. stock market open, changes dateline
(previously: LONDON), changes byline)
    By Stephen Culp
    NEW YORK, May 17 (Reuters) - The dollar on Monday held
steady near recent lows as new restrictions in Asia to contain
COVID-19 and mixed economic signals from China supported
safe-haven currencies, while bitcoin extended its slide.
    The steady U.S. 10-year Treasury yield, along
with new outbreaks in Singapore and Taiwan provided some support
the dollar against a basket of rival currencies.  
    Still, the greenback is struggling to gain momentum.
    "The U.S. dollar is lacking the support from yields that it
needs to turn this weakness around," said Shaun Osborne, chief
FX strategist at Scotiabank in Toronto. "For the summer and into
the Fall the U.S. dollar is likely to stay soft."
    The dollar index was last down 0.04% at 90.247. The
euro gained 0.02% to $1.2149 and the dollar fell 0.16%
to 109.155 Japanese yen.
    Bitcoin dropped to a three-month low after Tesla
Inc boss Elon Musk suggested over the weekend that the
electric automaker may have already sold some of its holdings in
the digital currency.
    The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to release the minutes
from its April monetary policy on Wednesday, which market
participants will scrutinize for clues regarding the central
bank's thinking about inflation spikes and the ongoing economic
recovery.
    "Last week a whole range of Fed speakers were downplaying
inflation, stating that it's temporary, that will not deflect
the Fed's course and now is not the time to start discussing
reducing support to the economy," Osborne added. "We're not
likely to see change in Fed policy for quite some time."
    Still, resurgent demand combined with supply shortages has
put commodity prices on an upward trajectory.
    Strengthening prices for metals and crude oil have
supported commodity-sensitive currencies. The Canadian dollar
, the Australian dollar and the Norwegian crown
 all gained against the U.S. dollar.
    "The current environment of low interest rates, low
volatility and increasing commodity prices should be good for
the commodity currencies," Osbourne added. 

    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 9:48AM (1348 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct       High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                   
                                              Session                                             
 Dollar index                 90.2470        90.2950     -0.04%         0.296%        +90.4290    +90.1750
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.2149        $1.2147     +0.02%         +0.00%        +$1.2169    +$1.2127
 Dollar/Yen                   109.1550       109.3350    -0.16%         +5.68%        +109.4950   +109.0950
 Euro/Yen                     132.61         132.78      -0.13%         +4.48%        +132.9400   +132.5200
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9009         0.9012      -0.03%         +0.00%        +0.9028     +0.9003
 Sterling/Dollar              $1.4106        $1.4098     +0.06%         +3.25%        +$1.4119    +$1.4078
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2092         1.2104      -0.10%         +0.00%        +1.2136     +1.2087
 Aussie/Dollar                $0.7755        $0.7781     -0.33%         +0.00%        +$0.7787    +$0.7731
 Euro/Swiss                   1.0944         1.0948      -0.04%         +0.00%        +1.0957     +1.0943
 Euro/Sterling                0.8611         0.8611      +0.00%         +0.00%        +0.8631     +0.8602
 NZ                           $0.7201        $0.7250     -0.70%         +0.00%        +$0.7249    +$0.7182
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                    
 Dollar/Norway                8.2690         8.2265      +0.57%         +0.00%        +8.2985     +8.2200
 Euro/Norway                  10.0464        9.9920      +0.54%         +0.00%        +10.0746    +9.9869
 Dollar/Sweden                8.3385         8.3341      +0.13%         +0.00%        +8.3679     +8.3213
 Euro/Sweden                  10.1306        10.1171     +0.13%         +0.00%        +10.1584    +10.1104
 


    
 (Reporting by Stephen Culp;
Additonal reporting by Tommy Wilkes in London; editing by
Barbara Lewis)
  
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