Dollar climbs past four-month high as risk appetite wanes

FILE PHOTO: U.S. one hundred dollar notes are seen in this picture illustration
Jessica DiNapoli and Elizabeth Howcroft
·2 min read

By Jessica DiNapoli and Elizabeth Howcroft

New York (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar climbed against a basket of major currencies again on Thursday, leaping over a four-moth high, as investors' pared their appetite for risk.

The dollar index rose about .28% to 92.85 in afternoon trading. The greenback for the year is now up more than 3%.

Yields on Treasuries climbed to their highest in the session after weak demand for the second month in a row at an auction on seven-year notes. The session high yield was 1.642%. On Thursday afternoon they yielded 1.630%.

The rise again in the dollar indicated investors were shrugging off positive data showing fewer-than-expected Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, and commentary from U.S. President Joe Biden that the economy is gaining steam.

"The dollar has been grinding higher over the last few days," said Mazen Issa, senior currency analyst at TD Securities. "The bias here is that the dollar ... remains elevated."

U.S. stocks, rose late in the day on Thursday in a session marked by choppy trading.

Concerns about extended lockdowns in Europe also weighed on markets. Leaders in Europe met to discuss how to ramp up supplies of COVID-19 vaccines after a slow start to inoculations.

The euro was down 0.41% against the dollar, at $1.1767, with analysts forecasting it could embrace the $1.16 range, as Europe's economic recovery lags.

The dollar was up .39% against the yen at 109.1500.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars, which dropped in the previous two sessions, edged down slightly against the U.S. dollar.

Bitcoin was roughly flat, down 1.43% at $52,360.51 .

The cryptocurrency briefly topped $57,000 after Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk said on Wednesday customers can now buy the company's electric cars with the digital token. (Graphic: USD, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/qmypmyjdxpr/USD.png)

(Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft Editing by Jane Merriman, Paul Simao and David Gregorio)