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FOREX-Dollar hits 4-week low as Fed's dovish message gains sway; rouble sinks

    * Russian rouble drops more than 1% on reports of U.S.
sanctions
    * Euro hits four-week top to dollar with U.S. yields subdued
    * Commodity-linked Aussie and kiwi reach three-weak peaks
    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

    By Hideyuki Sano and Kevin Buckland
    TOKYO, April 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar sank to a new
four-week low versus major peers on Thursday as Treasury yields
pulled back from last month's surge, with investors increasingly
convinced by the Federal Reserve's arguments that interest rates
will stay low for some time.
    The Russian rouble sank more than 1% to 76.65
per dollar on reports the U.S. will announce sanctions on Russia
as soon as Thursday for alleged election interference and
malicious cyber activity.
    The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against
six rival currencies, dipped to the lowest since March 18 at
91.559 in the Asian session before recovering to be basically
flat at 91.666. 
    The euro rose as high as a four-week top of $1.1989,
matching the highest level since March 4, before trading mostly
unchanged at $1.19735. 
    The dollar changed hands at 108.87 yen, after hitting
a three-week low of 108.755 on Wednesday.
    "The dollar has been losing steam a bit in line with falls
in U.S. bond yields as the Fed has maintained its dovish
stance," said Yujiro Goto, chief currency strategist at Nomura
Securities.
    Repeated assurances from Fed officials that it will keep
interest rates low have helped stabilise U.S. bonds, especially
at the short end of the market.
    While many investors remain nervous the Fed could change its
tone later this year if inflation readings swing much higher
than expected, for now they are content to give the Fed the
benefit of the doubt.
    Ten-year U.S. bond yields eased to 1.6342% in
Asian trading, well below a 14-month peak of 1.776% hit late
March, reducing the dollar's yield attraction.
    Meanwhile, stocks have marched higher, with the S&P 500
 setting new records this week.
    "Risk sentiment is improving," dragging on bond yields and
the dollar, said Osamu Takashima, chief currency strategist at
Citigroup Global Markets Japan.
    "I believe the dollar weakening trend could continue," with
a move toward 108 yen and $1.205 per euro in the very near term,
he said.
    Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that in time the
U.S. central bank will reduce its monthly bond purchases before
it commits to an interest rate increase, a scenario many
investors have regarded as a given.
    A weaker U.S. dollar also saw commodity currencies
supported. The Australian dollar rose at high as $0.7745
on Thursday for the first time since March 23, following a 1%
rally in the previous session that saw it break out of its tight
trading band over the last few weeks.
    The New Zealand dollar likewise hit a three-week high
of $0.7160.
    "When economic data is strong and the Fed is not turning
hawkish, we could see risk-sensitive currencies gaining against
both the dollar and the yen," said Nomura's Goto.
    Thursday is busy with U.S. data, including retail sales
readings for March and weekly jobless figures due at 1230GMT.
    Bitcoin stood near the record high of $64,895.22
hit on Wednesday, when cryptocurrency platform Coinbase
made its debut in Nasdaq in direct listing. The world's most
popular digital token last changed hands at around $63,250. 
    After a volatile trade, the stock closed at $328.28, which
gave the firm market capitalisation of $65.39 billion, about the
same as New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange
Inc.
    
========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 520 GMT
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.1973        $1.1980     -0.05%         -2.00%      +1.1990     +1.1970
 Dollar/Yen                   108.8520       108.9550    -0.08%         +5.40%      +108.9500   +108.8400
 Euro/Yen                     130.34         130.47      -0.10%         +2.69%      +130.5500   +130.3200
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9235         0.9229      +0.10%         +4.42%      +0.9240     +0.9224
 Sterling/Dollar              1.3766         1.3776      -0.08%         +0.75%      +1.3793     +1.3765
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2526         1.2521      +0.02%         -1.66%      +1.2526     +1.2505
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7712         0.7723      -0.12%         +0.28%      +0.7744     +0.7706
 NZ                           0.7143         0.7140      +0.07%         -0.50%      +0.7158     +0.7138
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Volatilities 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ 

    
 (Reporting by Hideyuki Sano and Kevin Buckland; Editing by Sam
Holmes and Kim Coghill)
  
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