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FOREX-Dollar nurses losses amid worries about second coronavirus wave, Biden transition

    * Currencies little moved on coronavirus vaccine progress
    * Growing unease about current rise in new infections
    * Traders in Asia focus on yuan's rise against greenback 

    By Stanley White
    TOKYO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - The dollar nursed losses on
Tuesday as a return of coronavirus restrictions in some U.S.
states and worries about a smooth transition for President-elect
Joe Biden offset optimism about a coronavirus vaccine.
    The British pound edged higher on media reports the UK could
reach a post-Brexit trade agreement with the European Union by
early next week.
    Moderna became the second U.S. pharmaceutical
company in a week to report positive results from trials of a
COVID-19 vaccine, considered necessary to eradicate the
pandemic.
    Last week, encouraging progress in coronavirus vaccine
testing helped the dollar rise against the safe-harbour yen and
the Swiss franc.
    However, reaction in the currency market to subsequent
developments has been subdued as the United States struggles to
contain a second wave of infections, and with vaccine
distribution not expected any time soon.
    There is also some uncertainty about Biden's plans to tackle
the coronavirus and stimulate the economy as the Trump
administration resists cooperation with Biden's transition team.
    "The market reaction has been limited because it will take
time to distribute the vaccine, and there is uncertainty about
U.S. politics," said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief foreign exchange
strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.
    "Unless we clear that hurdle, the dollar won't rise. The
dollar looks particularly weak against the yuan."
    The dollar was quoted at $1.1861 per euro, on
course for its fourth straight session of declines.
    Sterling edged up to $1.3220 and also gained to 89.73 pence
per euro.
    The greenback held steady at 104.47 yen
    Investors in the dollar are looking ahead to the release of
U.S. retail sales and industrial production later on Tuesday to
gauge the health of the economic recovery.
    However, policymakers' response to a record number of
coronavirus cases, hospitalisations, and deaths in several U.S.
states is likely to remain of greater concern.

    New infections are also increasing in Britain, Europe, and
Japan, which further clouds the economic outlook.
    The Australian dollar held onto overnight gains
against the greenback, while the New Zealand dollar traded near
its strongest in more than a year as investors scaled back bets
for additional monetary easing.
   Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia's most recent
policy meeting showed the central bank was ready to provide yet
more policy stimulus if needed after cutting rates to record
lows.
    Traders will also closely monitor the opening of the onshore
yuan to see if China's currency will set a new
28-month high.
    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 9:14AM (0014 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.1861        $1.1852     +0.08%         +5.80%      +1.1862     +1.1852
 Dollar/Yen                   104.4750       104.5250    +0.01%         -3.75%      +104.5750   +104.5400
 Euro/Yen                     123.92         123.93      -0.01%         +1.62%      +124.0000   +123.9100
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9120         0.9124      +0.01%         -5.70%      +0.9125     +0.9125
 Sterling/Dollar              1.3220         1.3202      +0.14%         -0.32%      +1.3233     +1.3192
 Dollar/Canadian              1.3069         1.3073      -0.02%         +0.61%      +1.3078     +1.3070
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7323         0.7321      +0.03%         +4.37%      +0.7324     +0.7313
 NZ                           0.6911         0.6905      +0.10%         +2.72%      +0.6912     +0.6894
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Volatilities 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ 

 (Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Sam Holmes)
  
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