FOREX-Dollar hits two-decade high amid rising US rates, Ukraine war, China's lockdowns

    * Dollar index rises to almost 20yr peak
    * AUD, NZD slide as Asia's stockmarkets tumble
    * U.S. CPI data is next upside risk - analysts

    By Tom Westbrook
    SINGAPORE, May 9 (Reuters) - The dollar hit a two-decade
high on Monday as investors searched for safety and yield in the
face of growing concern over slowing global economic growth and
rising interest rates.
    Surging inflation, the war in Ukraine, and tighter lockdowns
against COVID-19 in Beijing and Shanghai, have left investors
uncertain on many counts, but they are sure that U.S. interest
rates are going up - and the dollar has been following.
    The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against six major currencies, is up nearly 9% this year and hit
its highest since late 2002 on Monday at 104.090.
    The growth sensitive Australian dollar fell 1% to
$0.6999, its lowest since February. Sterling and the
New Zealand dollar hit 22-month lows, while the euro
and yen were barely above recent major troughs.
    "Moves in U.S. interest rates are not the only dollar
support," said strategists at NatWest Markets in a note.
    "Downside risks to global growth stemming from Ukraine and
China are more pressing for Europe and Asia relative to the
U.S., creating an air of 2018-style dollar exceptionalism."
    The dollar's gains were set against sliding stockmarkets 
and sent it ahead against other havens, commodity currencies and
emerging market currencies alike.   
   It rose 0.3% to its highest since 2019 on the Swiss franc. It
was up 0.4% and near a two-decade high at 131.00 yen
and tested recent peaks at $1.0508 per euro.
   Weighed by the Bank of England's gloomy outlook, sterling
 fell 0.5% to its lowest since mid 2020 at $1.2268. The
Canadian dollar hit its lowest since December.
    In China trade data showed imports flatlined in April and
exports rose 3.9%.
    That was a little better than expected but proved little
help to the yuan which was dragged to a fresh
18-month low of 6.7260 per dollar as lockdowns in Shanghai were
    Traders see the fallout from the inevitable drag on China's
economy raking across the region.
    The kiwi fell 0.9% to $0.6346 and the U.S. dollar
made multi-year highs on the trade-sensitive Taiwan dollar
, South Korean won, Singapore dollar
and Malaysian ringgit.
    It hit its highest in nine months against the Indonesian
    The yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. government bonds
 has climbed a staggering 163 basis points this year
and taken the dollar with it.
    Speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin might
declare war on Ukraine in order to call up reserves during his
speech at "Victory Day" celebrations also hurt market sentiment.
    Putin has so far characterised Russia's actions in Ukraine
as a "special military operation", not a war, or an invasion.
    The U.S. Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark funds rate 50
basis points (bps) last week and strong jobs data has reinforced
bets on further big hikes, with inflation figures due on
Wednesday in focus as next risk of an upside surprise.
    Futures markets are pricing a 75% chance of a 75 bp rate
rise at the Fed's next meeting in June and more than 200 bps of
tightening by year's end.
    "Risks around U.S. CPI feel binary; a moderation from
8.5%would be mildly comforting, but a lift would doubtless
revive expectations for 75 bp Fed hikes, and probably give the
dollar a boost," said analysts at ANZ Bank.
    "The idea that synchronised global tightening might proceed
gently now feels like a forgotten dream."
    Cryptocurrencies have been battered in the rush from risky
assets and bitcoin was nursing weekend losses and
near its lowest levels of the year at $33,500 while ether
, which fell 4% on Sunday, was at $2,440.
    Currency bid prices at 0607 GMT
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.0511        $1.0548     -0.34%         +0.00%      +1.0565     +1.0503
 Dollar/Yen                   131.0250       130.5600    +0.38%         +0.00%      +131.1000   +130.6750
 Euro/Yen         <EURJPY=EB  137.71         137.67      +0.03%         +0.00%      +137.8900   +137.5000
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9939         0.9884      +0.57%         +0.00%      +0.9939     +0.9892
 Sterling/Dollar              1.2281         1.2339      -0.43%         +0.00%      +1.2355     +1.2269
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2945         1.2910      +0.25%         +0.00%      +1.2950     +1.2903
 Aussie/Dollar                0.6999         0.7074      -1.06%         +0.00%      +0.7076     +0.6997
 NZ                           0.6347         0.6405      -0.91%         +0.00%      +0.6404     +0.6340
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ 

 (Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Sam Holmes & Simon