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Title: Dollar Stable as Traders Digest Omicron News; Rand, Aussie Dollar Hit

Dec 02, 2021 02:48AM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

The dollar traded broadly unchanged on Thursday, with the safe-haven Japanese yen in greater demand as concerns over the omicron COVID variant increased, weighing on the South African rand and Australian dollar.

At 2:50 AM ET (0750 GMT), the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a bushel of six different monetary forms, rose imperceptibly to 96.090, solidifying in its reach for the beyond about fourteen days.

EUR/USD fell barely to 1.1315, GBP/USD climbed 0.2% to 1.3299, and USD/JPY rose 0.4% to 113.23, a recuperation of sorts from Tuesday's low of 112.53, which had not been reached since October eleventh.

In addition, the risk-sensitive AUD/USD rose 0.1% to 0.7110, not far from Tuesday's low of 0.7063, the weakest since early November last year, while the USD/ZAR fell 0.3% to 15.9760 after rising more than 1% overnight.

Adding to the fears late on Wednesday was news that the first case of the Omicron variant had emerged in the US, while the number of new cases reported in South Africa, where Omicron was first discovered, doubled from Tuesday to Wednesday, with the new variant being the dominant strain, accounting for almost three-quarters of the cases.

Much is still unknown about the new variant, which has spread to at least two dozen countries in just three weeks, but the World Health Organisation said on Wednesday it expected to have more information on the transmissibility of the virus in the coming days. However, Australia's Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly, was quoted as saying there was no evidence that the new variant was more dangerous than the Delta variant.

Elsewhere, GlaxoSmithKline said that its antiviral treatment sotrovimab, already approved in the UK, appears to be 79% effective against Omicron.

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