FOREX-Dollar drops vs yen as virus fears outweigh strong U.S. jobs data

Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

* U.S. non-farm payrolls show 225,000 job gains

* Euro hurt by poor German data, worst week since November

* Coronavirus fears keep sentiment fragile, yen gains

* Death toll from virus reaches 637

* GRAPHIC-World FX rates in 2019: http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

(Recasts, adds new comment, U.S. data, FX table, updates prices) NEW YORK, Feb 7 (Reuters) - The dollar fell against the safe-haven yen on Friday as nagging fears about the latest coronavirus that broke out in China a few weeks ago overshadowed an overall strong U.S. non-farm payrolls report. The yen rose after four straight days of selling that was spurred by investors being encouraged by the efforts from the Chinese government to contain the virus and limit its economic fallout. The dollar, however, barely budged against the yen after robust U.S. non-farm payrolls numbers for January. Data showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 225,000 jobs last month, with employment at construction sites increasing by the most in a year amid milder-than-normal temperatures. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast payrolls would rise by 160,000 jobs in January. "The gains in the dollar right after the data can best be described as tepid," said Bipan Rai, North American head of FX strategy, at CIBC Capital Markets in Toronto. "But the data was quite robust, with the number of jobs added to the economy, and the fact that we're still growing, but at probably a much more subdued pace than what the market had anticipated," he added. In late morning trading, the dollar dropped 0.4% against the yen to 109.61 yen and was little changed against the Swiss franc at 0.9750 franc. The dollar index, which measures the currency against a basket of rivals, edged lower to 98.47 . Brian Daingerfield, head of G10 FX strategy at Natwest Markets in Stamford, Connecticut said the coronavirus has injected a lot of uncertainty in the market, as investors wondered whether the improvement in global data in January can be sustained. The death toll in mainland China reached 637 on Friday, with a total of 31,211 cases, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday in Geneva. The virus has spread around the world, with 320 cases in 27 countries and regions outside mainland China, a Reuters tally of official statements shows. The euro, meanwhile, fell to its lowest since October on Friday after German industrial output recorded its biggest decline in a decade in December. The single European currency dropped to as low as fell as low as $1.0949, and was last down 0.1% and has now lost 1.2% since Monday, putting it on track for its worst week since November. The offshore yuan slipped 0.4% to 7.007 yuan per dollar, though it was still set for a small gain this week thanks to stimulus from China's central bank and Beijing's announcement of tariff cuts on U.S. imports. The Australian dollar, often seen as a proxy for China, weakened 0.7% to US$0.6679, its lowest since October, after the Reserve Bank of Australia slashed growth forecasts in its quarterly economic outlook.


Currency bid prices at 10:28 AM (1528 GMT)

Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low BidPrevious Change


Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.0958 $1.0980 -0.20% -2.25%+1.0985 +1.0949Dollar/Yen JPY= 109.6200 109.9900 -0.34% +0.70%+110.0200 +109.5400Euro/Yen EURJPY= 120.15 120.78 -0.52% -1.48%+120.8000 +120.1300Dollar/Swiss CHF= 0.9757 0.9744 +0.13% +0.82%+0.9770 +0.9740Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.2939 1.2928 +0.09% -2.41%+1.2958 +1.2922Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.3307 1.3284 +0.17% +2.47%+1.3319 +1.3280Australian/Doll AUD= 0.6677 0.6730 -0.79% -4.90%+0.6736 +0.6663


Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.0692 1.0702 -0.09% -1.46%+1.0709 +1.0680Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.8469 0.8492 -0.27% +0.18%+0.8497 +0.8462NZ NZD= 0.6410 0.6456 -0.71% -4.84%+0.6463 +0.6404


Dollar/Norway NOK= 9.2818 9.2171 +0.70% +5.74%+9.2959 +9.2168Euro/Norway EURNOK= 10.1710 10.1228 +0.48% +3.39%+10.1974 +10.1184Dollar/Sweden SEK= 9.6395 9.6221 -0.04% +3.12%+9.6514 +9.6083Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 10.5625 10.5672 -0.04% +0.89%+10.5844 +10.5357

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Karen Brettell in New York and Tommy Wilkes in London)