FOREX-Dollar defensive as Treasury yields slip from near 14-month highs

    * Benchmark Treasury yield dips after rising past 1.7%
    * Euro, sterling recoup early losses
    * Yen weakens briefly after BOJ allows target yield more
    * Bitcoin regroups around $58,000 after topping $60,000

 (Adds details, comments.)
    By Kevin Buckland and Sagarika Jaisinghani
    TOKYO, March 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar gave up early
gains on Friday as Treasury yields dipped from near 14-month
highs, while investors digested the Federal Reserve's pushback
against expectations of any early interest-rate hikes.
    The dollar index was down about 0.1% at 91.689 after
rising as much as 0.2% in early Asian trading. 
    The euro gained versus the dollar after posting its
worst day in two weeks on Thursday. The British pound rose 0.1%
to $1.3951.
    The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) pledged this week
to press on with aggressive monetary stimulus, saying a
near-term spike in inflation would prove temporary amid
projections for the strongest U.S economic growth in nearly 40
    The benchmark U.S. 10-year yield climbed to a
more-than-one-year peak of 1.754% overnight before easing to
    "With the Fed looking for the unemployment rate to drop
below 5% this year and below 4% in 2023, it (is) difficult to
see how long the 10-year bond yield can hold below 2%," said
Chang Wei Liang, macro strategist at Singapore-based DBS Bank.
    "Overall, the FOMC affirmed our decision on Monday to
upgrade the outlook for the dollar to push above 92 towards 94
by mid-year."
    The yen dipped briefly after the Bank of Japan widened its
target band for the benchmark yield in a decision that was in
line with market expectations.
    The dollar was last down 0.1% at 108.760 yen after
small gains overnight.
    "There's no reason for dollar-yen to react to the latest
results of the BOJ assessment because it's almost in line with
what the media reported in advance," said Masafumi Yamamoto,
chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities.
    "For dollar-yen, U.S. Treasury yield change is a much more
important driver than the JGB yield change."
    The euro was up at $1.1935 after tumbling 0.5% on
    While AstraZeneca vaccinations are poised to restart in
Germany, France and other European nations, the region's growth
outlook suffered as Paris went into a month-long lockdown.

    In the cryptocurrency market, bitcoin stood at
around $57,530 after briefly topping $60,000 again overnight. 
    It had surged to a record high of $61,781.83 on Saturday,
after more than doubling since the start of the year.
    "Bitcoin is a momentum trade and it feels like it could go a
lot further," said Edward Moya, a New York-based senior market
analyst at online FX broker OANDA. "Is it a bubble? Yes. But it
can easily go to $100,000 before it comes crashing down." 
    Currency bid prices at 0803 GMT
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.1934        $1.1916     +0.17%         -2.31%      +1.1937     +1.1902
 Dollar/Yen                   108.7200       108.9100    -0.16%         +5.27%      +109.1200   +108.7350
 Euro/Yen                     129.75         129.76      -0.01%         +2.23%      +129.9800   +129.6600
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9255         0.9274      -0.20%         +4.61%      +0.9284     +0.9254
 Sterling/Dollar              1.3949         1.3932      +0.14%         +2.12%      +1.3956     +1.3893
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2474         1.2486      -0.10%         -2.04%      +1.2511     +1.2463
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7763         0.7762      +0.05%         +0.95%      +0.7767     +0.7724
 NZ                           0.7182         0.7168      +0.24%         +0.06%      +0.7187     +0.7151
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ 

 (Reporting by Kevin Buckland in Tokyo and Sagarika Jaisinghani
in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin, Larry King)

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