Dollar treads water against euro; yuan sinks on U.S.-China tensions

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar steadied against the euro on Wednesday even as the common currency remained supported by news of a proposal for an economic recovery package to help the euro zone region recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

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The euro EUR=EBS was up 0.03% against the dollar at $1.09855, after rising as high as $1.10315, its strongest since April 1. The common currency gained 0.8% on the greenback on Tuesday.

The European Union’s executive unveiled a 750 billion euro ($825.23 billion) plan on Wednesday to prop up economies hammered by the coronavirus crisis, hoping to end months of squabbling over how to fund a recovery that has exposed faultlines across the 27-nation bloc.

“We are certain Euro merits its strength based on just the high level of cooperation you are witnessing,” said Juan Perez, senior currency trader at Tempus Inc.

“Euro will not falter much, unless this truly ends up not being doled out at all, which we doubt,” he said.

The euro has struggled since falling in March, when investors rushed for the safety of dollars amid increased volatility in global financial markets.

Perceived safe-haven currencies, the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc, came under pressure on Wednesday as investors looked past increased U.S.-China tensions to bet on riskier assets in the hopes of a quick rebound from the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

Against the yen, which tends to draw investors during times of geopolitical or financial stress given Japan's status as the world's largest creditor, 0.13the dollar was 0.11% higher. JPY=EBS

The greenback was up 0.3% against the franc CHF=EBS, after Swiss National Bank Chairman Thomas Jordan said Swiss monetary policy must remain accommodative.

Worries about the U.S. response to China’s proposed security law for Hong Kong, however, kept safe-haven currencies from seeing sharper declines.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had certified on Wednesday that Hong Kong no longer warrants special treatment under U.S. law as it did when it was under British rule, a potentially big blow to its status as a major financial hub.

The offshore yuan CNH=D3 fell to its lowest level ever against the against at 7.1966 per dollar.

Sterling GBP=D3 retreated below $1.23 as investor focus shifted back to the possibility of negative interest rates in Britain and comments from government officials that not much progress had been made in Brexit negotiations.

Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed; editing by Nick Zieminski