Dollar declines

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    TOKYO- The dollar nursed losses on Wednesday as progress in developing a novel coronavirus vaccine and expectations for a fiscal boost from a new US government triggered a shift of funds from the greenback to riskier assets.

    The US 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 US dollar’s declines are likely to continue because a vaccine and the expected choice of former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as US 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 favor risk assets. Yellen will team up with the Fed and support the economy. US 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.