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FOREX-Safe-haven yen gains, dollar struggles on U.S. economic worries

    * Euro zone PMIs indicate renewed growth on the continent
    * Euro hits fresh 22-month high 
    * Dollar falls to 4-month lows vs yen 
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

 (Recasts, adds new comment, FX table, updates prices, changes byline, dateline; previous LONDON)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, July 24 (Reuters) - The safe-haven yen rose to more than four-month highs on Friday, while
the dollar dropped to a nearly two-year low, as risk appetite diminished amid a slew of worries ranging
from the delay in the stimulus package bill, the spike in virus cases, and U.S.-China tensions.
    The dollar was on track to post its worst weekly performance in more than four months against a basket
of currencies. Against a surging euro, the struggling dollar was on pace to post its largest weekly
percentage loss since early June.
    "Investors are shunning the greenback because they're worried about the prospects for the U.S. economy
and even if the government comes up with another stimulus package, it may fall short, or may be too
little, too late," said Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management in New York.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday that U.S. Senate Republicans will unveil their
proposal next week for a fresh round of coronavirus aid, including more direct payments to Americans and a
partial extension of enhanced unemployment benefits.
    He added that the administration has requested additional time to review the fine details of the
proposal.
    U.S. unemployment benefits expire next week and without the extension of those benefits, millions of
unemployed Americans would struggle massively. BK's Lien this is a "hot-button issue" for investors and a
major threat to the U.S. economy as the government tries to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. 
    U.S. coronavirus cases passed the 4 million mark, a milestone of a pandemic that has killed more than
143,000 Americans and thrown tens of millions out of work.
    In midday trading, the dollar fell 1% against the yen to 105.81 yen, having dropped to
105.76 yen, the lowest since mid-March. 
    Against a basket of currencies, the dollar slid 0.4% to 94.42. Earlier in the session, it
plunged to 94.402, a fresh 22-month low.
    Analysts said U.S.-China tensions also undermined the dollar.
    China's foreign ministry told the U.S. embassy early on Friday to close its consulate in the city of
Chengdu, after Washington ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston.
    The euro, meanwhile, hit a fresh 22-month high against the dollar and was last up 0.3% at $1.1632
.
    IHS Markit's composite flash July Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) readings for the euro zone came in
above economists' expectations and showed activity bouncing back to growth in July as more businesses
reopened after lockdowns to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
    The Chinese yuan, a barometer of China-U.S. tensions, looked set for its worst week in three months.
It was last down 0.2% at 7.0255 per dollar in the offshore market.
    
    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 10:50AM (1450 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1629        $1.1594     +0.30%         +3.74%      +1.1637     +1.1582
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        105.8500       106.8500    -0.94%         -2.77%      +106.9000   +105.7700
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     123.09         123.91      -0.66%         +0.93%      +123.9900   +122.8500
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9227         0.9253      -0.28%         -4.65%      +0.9260     +0.9227
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.2780         1.2739      +0.32%         -3.61%      +1.2794     +1.2719
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3416         1.3408      +0.06%         +3.31%      +1.3444     +1.3377
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7096         0.7097      -0.01%         +1.07%      +0.7124     +0.7065
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.0733         1.0730      +0.03%         -1.10%      +1.0748     +1.0713
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.9098         0.9100      -0.02%         +7.62%      +0.9125     +0.9085
 NZ               NZD=        0.6633         0.6633      +0.00%         -1.53%      +0.6653     +0.6616
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                  
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        9.1828         9.2232      -0.44%         +4.61%      +9.2579     +9.1703
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     10.6820        10.6968     -0.14%         +8.58%      +10.7470    +10.6708
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        8.8400         8.8614      +0.00%         -5.43%      +8.8774     +8.8330
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.2809        10.2805     +0.00%         -1.80%      +10.3025    +10.2670
 
    
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Olga Cotaga in London; editing by
Jonathan Oatis)
  
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