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FOREX-Dollar struggles to recover after slump to 7-week trough amid lower U.S. yields

    * Yen sets fresh seven-week high as stocks decline
    * Commodity currencies weaker after drop in oil
    * Risk sentiment sours as pandemic fears return

    By Kevin Buckland
    TOKYO, April 21 (Reuters) - The dollar languished on
Wednesday, hovering just above a seven-week low with subdued
U.S. bond yields reducing the currency's yield appeal.
    The safe-haven greenback got some respite from a pullback in
world stocks from record highs as flare ups in coronavirus
infections from India to Canada soured the outlook for a quick
global recovery.
    The safety bid also bolstered the yen, which
climbed to a fresh seven-week peak of 107.88 per dollar on
Wednesday.
    The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency
against six major peers, was at 91.254 in Asia after slumping as
low as 90.856 on Tuesday for the first time since March 3. It
has declined 2.1% so far this month.
    The index "has broken down through a key short-term support
level at 91.30 and can see further downside to the low 90s,"
with the euro rising to around $1.22, Westpac strategists wrote
in a client note.
    "We were looking for the (index) to top in Q3, when second
derivative U.S. rebound measures crest and Europe gets her vax
act together, but the early indications are that vaccinations
across Europe are picking up pace already," Westpac said.
    The single currency traded at $1.20275, after touching a
seven-week high of $1.2079 overnight.
    The European Central Bank decides policy on Thursday, with
the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan following next week.
    The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was around
1.56%, not far from its lowest since mid-March, as it continued
to consolidate following its retreat from the 14-month high at
1.7760% reached at the end of last month.
    "Now that U.S. Treasury yields have started coming off,
people are unwinding yen short positions," said Tohru Sasaki,
JPMorgan's head of Japan market research. 
    The yen could strengthen to 105 per dollar in the near term,
he said. Japan's currency was as weak as 110.97 for the first
time in a year at the end of last month.
    Declines in U.S. yields and the dollar in April have come as
evidence mounted that the Fed would be slower in tightening
monetary policy than it had appeared to the market, analysts
said.
    Some encouragement for the euro came from the announcement
that the European Union has secured an additional 100 million
doses of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by BioNTech
and Pfizer.
    Elsewhere though, pandemic developments triggered investor
caution.
    India reported 1,761 deaths from COVID-19, its highest daily
toll, while Canada and the United States extended a land-border
closure for non-essential travellers.
    Asian equities tracked declines on Wall Street, where travel
stocks weighed on sentiment.
    Oil fell, dragging commodity-linked currencies lower
overnight.
    The Canadian dollar traded at C$1.26110 to the
greenback in Asia, following its biggest plunge in nearly two
months on Tuesday. The Bank of Canada is due to announce a
policy decision later Wednesday.
    The Australian dollar, a barometer for risk appetite,
weakened 0.2% to $0.77057 after sliding 0.4% overnight.
    In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin traded around
$55,500, consolidating following its dip to as low as $51,541.16
on Sunday. It set a record high at $64,895.22 on April 14.
        
========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 521 GMT
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.2028        $1.2036     -0.07%         -1.56%      +1.2044     +1.2025
 Dollar/Yen                   107.9900       108.0950    -0.02%         +4.63%      +108.1270   +107.8800
 Euro/Yen         <EURJPY=EB  129.90         130.08      -0.14%         +2.35%      +130.1100   +129.8400
                  S>                                                                            
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9164         0.9159      +0.07%         +3.59%      +0.9166     +0.9154
 Sterling/Dollar              1.3921         1.3938      -0.13%         +1.89%      +1.3948     +1.3917
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2608         1.2612      +0.00%         -0.96%      +1.2615     +1.2598
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7708         0.7725      -0.24%         +0.18%      +0.7735     +0.7704
 NZ                           0.7167         0.7170      -0.04%         -0.19%      +0.7185     +0.7163
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Volatilities 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ 

    
 (Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Sam Holmes & Shri
Navaratnam)
  
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