FOREX-Dollar under pressure as risk appetite stages a comeback

    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2020
    * Dollar loses out as risk appetite improves
    * Vaccine, Biden transition boost sentiment
    * Bitcoin closes in on all-time high

    By Stanley White
    TOKYO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - The dollar nursed losses on
Wednesday as progress in developing a novel coronavirus vaccine
and expectations for a fiscal boost from a new U.S. government
triggered a shift of funds from the greenback to riskier assets.
    The U.S. currency teetered near a two-month low against the
Australian dollar and a two-year low against the New Zealand
dollar, both considered barometers of risk sentiment due to
their close ties with the global commodities trade.
    Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency known for extreme volatility, also
traded near an all-time high, in a further sign that investors
are growing more comfortable taking on riskier positions.
    The U.S. dollar's declines are likely to continue because a
vaccine and the expected choice of former Federal Reserve Chair
Janet Yellen as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's next Treasury
secretary relieve two big uncertainties for investors.
    "Rising yields may lend the dollar some support, but the
overall direction is it will head lower," said Junichi Ishikawa,
senior foreign exchange strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.
    "The trend has shifted to favour risk assets. Yellen will
team up with the Fed and support the economy. U.S. rates will
remain low for a long time."
    The dollar stood at $1.1903 against the euro on
Wednesday in Asia, close to a two-week low.
    The British pound bought $1.3359, close to its
highest in more than two months.
    Against the yen, the dollar held steady at 104.54.
    Research suggesting that a COVID-19 vaccine could be
available before year end has sent U.S. stocks surging to record
highs and reduced the appeal of holding the dollar as a
safe-harbour currency.
    Risk appetite has also improved after the outgoing U.S.
President Donald Trump's administration began cooperating with
the Biden transition, and after reports that Yellen, an advocate
of more fiscal spending, will take the top job at Treasury.

    The dollar index, pitting the dollar against a basket
of six major currencies, was at 92.109 after falling 0.4% on
    The onshore yuan rose to 6.5818 per dollar on
hopes for better Sino-U.S. ties under Biden. Other Asian
currencies also edged higher.
    The Antipodean currencies were already on the front foot as
investors unwound bets for additional monetary easing in both
    Improving risk appetite means the Australian dollar's
 next target is its high of $0.7413 on Sept. 1.
    The New Zealand dollar, which has rallied 5.6% so
far this month, is trading just shy of its strongest since June
    Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, eased
slightly to $19,046 but was still close to its record of $19,666
from December 2017.
    Currency bid prices at 11:39AM (0239 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.1903        $1.1895     +0.07%         +6.17%      +1.1907     +1.1888
 Dollar/Yen                   104.5400       104.4300    +0.07%         -3.79%      +104.5950   +104.4600
 Euro/Yen                     124.42         124.17      +0.20%         +2.03%      +124.4700   +124.2000
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9108         0.9111      -0.02%         -5.86%      +0.9114     +0.9106
 Sterling/Dollar              1.3359         1.3361      +0.00%         +0.74%      +1.3365     +1.3356
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2997         1.2997      +0.00%         +0.05%      +1.2998     +1.2991
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7358         0.7361      -0.04%         +4.87%      +0.7373     +0.7354
 NZ                           0.6982         0.6979      +0.01%         +3.73%      +0.6984     +0.6970
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ 

 (Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Christopher Cushing)