FOREX-Dollar firm amid U.S. yield spike; bitcoin back below $60,000 following surge to record high

    * Graphic: World FX rates

    By Kevin Buckland
    TOKYO, March 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar held firm on
Monday after bouncing off a one-week low last week, supported by
a spike in benchmark Treasury yields to more-than-one-year highs
as inflation fears continued to smoulder.
    Bitcoin retreated to below $60,000 amid a Reuters
report that India will push ahead on a proposal to ban
cryptocurrencies. It had surged to a record $61,781.83 over the
    The greenback traded near its highest since June against the
Japanese yen, which tends to weaken when Treasury yields
    Market participants have grown wary in recent weeks that
massive fiscal stimulus and pent-up consumer demand could lead
to a jump in inflation as expanding vaccination campaigns bring
an end to lockdowns.
    U.S. producer prices had their largest annual gain in nearly
2-1/2 years, data showed on Friday, while the country's economy
is set to get a massive shot in the arm from President Joe
Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package.
    The outlook for the already brisk pace of U.S. vaccinations
has also been boosted by Biden's order for every state to make
all adults eligible for vaccination by May 1.
    The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency
against six major peers, held around 91.645 early in Monday's
Asia session after climbing from near a one-week low of 91.364
at the end of last week.
    Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were at
1.6282% on Monday, close to Friday's top of 1.6420%.
    The dollar was largely flat at 109.04 yen on Monday, near
the nine-month top of 109.235 reached last week.
    The greenback has also been supported by a paring of bets
for its decline, with speculators cutting net short positions to
the lowest since mid-November in the week ended March 9,
according to calculations by Reuters and U.S. Commodity Futures
Trading Commission data released on Friday.
    The dollar index has gained 1.8% this year, tracking the
rise in benchmark yields from below 1%. In 2020, the gauge fell
nearly 7%.
    Many analysts expect the dollar to resume that downtrend in
due course. 
    "Higher bond yields alone are unlikely to sustain the
upswing in USD," Commonwealth Bank of Australia analysts wrote
in a research note, adding dollar declines were coming "soon".
    "The move higher in bond yields largely reflects the better
economic outlook, which is ultimately a weight on the USD." 
    The euro was mostly unchanged at $1.19535,
consolidating just below $1.20 after sliding to a three-month
trough of $1.18355 last week.
    The Australian dollar - viewed widely as a liquid
proxy for risk appetite - rose slightly to $0.7769, paring some
of Friday's 0.4% loss.
    The Canadian dollar was largely flat, after earlier
strengthening to C$1.2461 for the first time in three years. On
Friday, a bigger-than-expected domestic jobs gain supported the
view that the Bank of Canada would reduce quantitative easing
purchases next month.
    Bitcoin changed hands at around $59,940 after Reuters cited
a senior government official as saying India will propose a law
banning cryptocurrencies and fining anyone trading in the
country or even holding such digital assets.
    It would be one of the world's strictest policies against
the red-hot digital assets, and comes just as bitcoin and its
rivals have been gaining credibility amid a wave of endorsements
from big investors such as BlackRock Inc and corporate leaders
including Tesla Inc's Elon Musk and Twitter Inc's Jack Dorsey.
    Bitcoin has more than doubled in value this year, after more
than quadrupling in 2020.

    Currency bid prices at 125 GMT
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.1959        $1.1953     +0.05%         -2.12%      +1.1961     +1.1945
 Dollar/Yen                   109.0150       109.0200    +0.04%         +5.59%      +109.1320   +109.0400
 Euro/Yen                     130.37         130.29      +0.06%         +2.72%      +130.4300   +130.2800
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9283         0.9296      -0.15%         +4.92%      +0.9296     +0.9282
 Sterling/Dollar              1.3941         1.3970      -0.19%         +2.06%      +1.3943     +1.3919
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2457         1.2475      -0.11%         -2.14%      +1.2477     +1.2458
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7768         0.7758      +0.16%         +1.01%      +0.7771     +0.7750
 NZ                           0.7209         0.7177      +0.46%         +0.40%      +0.7209     +0.7180
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ 

 (Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Muralikumar

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