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Dollar falls as U.S. yields languish, euro gets boost from survey

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David Henry
·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Rolled Euro banknotes are placed on U.S. Dollar banknotes
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By David Henry

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar fell against major currencies on Friday as U.S. yields languished and the euro was boosted by an upbeat survey of purchasing managers.

The dollar index was off 0.2% at 91.07, around levels it saw in early March. It has given up some of the gains made earlier in the year when yields on 10-year U.S. Treasuries notes were rising.

The yields on the notes hovered around 1.56% on Friday, as they have been all week. They had reached 1.75% at the end of March.

The euro rose 0.3% on the day to $1.2055 after a purchasing managers' index for April came in better than expected in the euro zone and supported the view that the region's economic recovery is accelerating and won't lag as far behind the U.S. recovery as earlier.

A similar U.S. survey also came out later on Friday and seemed to buoy the dollar shortly afterward.

Friday morning's market was "a continuation of what we have seen since the beginning of the month," said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex in New York.

"The dollar had a very strong first quarter and the market is still unwinding that," Chandler said.

Trading in a narrow range this week, the dollar in the first quarter gained 3.6% but it has lost about 2.3% so far in April.

Markets now are looking toward next week's meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve to review monetary policy and the economy.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell is expected to echo Thursday's message from European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde that scaled back some expectations for a withdrawal of monetary easing. Lagarde said talk of the ECB phasing out emergency bond purchases was premature.

Powell's remarks could put more downward pressure on Treasury yields and limit any bounce of the dollar.

"Real yields in the U.S. remain deeply negative on a 10-year basis and reflect some of this uncertainty that will continue to limit the upside for the U.S. dollar," said Derek Halpenny, an analyst at MUFG.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars firmed on Friday, but traders said risks are pointed to the downside due to the recent weakening in commodity prices.

The British pound rose 0.1% on the day..

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies suffered hefty losses on Friday on concern that U.S. President Joe Biden's plan to raise capital gains taxes will curb investment in digital assets. Bitcoin, the biggest and most popular cryptocurrency, slumped 5% to $48,250, falling below the $50,000 mark for the first time since early March, while smaller rival Ether fell about 6%.

(Reporting by David Henry in New York and Tommy Wilkes in London; Editing by John Stonestreet, Steve Orlofsky and Andrew Heavens)