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NEW YORK: The dollar rose for the first time in six days on Thursday, as investors grew cautious about the persistent rise in coronavirus infections that forced localized shutdowns around the world, with broad optimism about upcoming Covid-19 vaccines fading a bit.

The US death toll from Covid-19 passed 250,000 on Wednesday as New York City's public school system, the country's largest, halted in-person instruction, citing a jump in infection rates.

In mid-morning trading, an index which tracks the dollar against a basket of currencies was up 0.1% at 92.576. The euro slipped 0.2% against the dollar to $1.1830. The Norwegian crown fell 0.5% against the US dollar, which rose to 9.0350. The dollar also gained against the Swedish crown, up 0.3% at 8.6311, while the Aussie dollar also fell 0.4% to US$0.7273.

The dollar rose 0.2% against the yen to 103.965 yen. The yen has gained 1.6% in the week since Pfizer announced promising trial results on its Covid-19 vaccine.

Elsewhere, sterling dipped 0.3% to $1.3226 against the dollar after The Times newspaper reported that European leaders will urge the European Commission to publish no-deal Brexit plans as the year-end deadline approaches. Bitcoin rose 1.9% on Thursday to $18,126 not far from the all-time high of nearly $20,000 reached three years ago.