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Dollar edges higher as Brexit talks pause, but posts worst week in a month

12/04/2020 | 04:33pm EST
Rolled Euro banknotes are placed on U.S. Dollar banknotes

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar rose from 2-1/2-year lows on Friday, as European Union and British negotiators paused talks for a post-Brexit trade deal, weighing on sterling, though the greenback still posted its worst week in a month after investors shrugged off a weaker-than-expected U.S. employment report.

In late trading, the dollar index rose 0.1% to $90.725 ahead of the weekend, climbing from its lowest level since April 2018. On the week, the index was down 1.3%, its largest weekly loss since early November.

Britain and the European Union paused talks on Friday after failing to narrow differences sufficiently to reach a trade agreement, less than four weeks before Britain completes its Brexit journey out of the bloc.

The negotiators, Britain's David Frost and the EU's Michel Barnier, said they would brief their leaders to seek new impetus for the talks.

Upbeat announcements on COVID-19 vaccines have helped drive a rally in riskier currencies at the expense of the safe-haven dollar.

Graphic: Dollar in free fall? -

The euro and Swiss franc, in contrast, were headed for their best week in a month against the dollar.

The single European currency touched a 2-1/2-year high, while the Swiss franc rose to its highest in nearly six years.

Data showed that U.S. non-farm payrolls increased by 245,000 jobs last month after rising by 610,000 in October. That was the smallest gain since the jobs recovery started in May.

"The biggest development this afternoon has been what I'm telling clients is a 'fakeout-breakout' in pound sterling," said Toronto-based Erik Bregar, head of FX strategy for the Exchange Bank of Canada, referring to the possibility of a Brexit deal that is now on pause. "It makes me think about more downside afterwards."

The renewed possibility that Congress might forge another U.S. fiscal stimulus package and enthusiasm about progress on the development of COVID-19 vaccines remain key drivers in foreign exchange, strategists said.

The jobs data and surge in COVID-19 cases are unlikely to trigger a rush by the U.S. Federal Reserve to ramp up its bond-buying. Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans told reporters on Friday that the Fed could assess asset purchases in springtime, when there is more clarity on the economic outlook.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday there was momentum behind talks on a coronavirus relief bill and that a bipartisan proposal could be the basis for relief negotiations. That should keep risk appetite higher.

The euro has been one of the biggest winners from recent dollar weakness, breaking decisively above $1.20 this week.

The single currency rose to $1.2177, its highest since April 2018, and was last down 0.2% at $1.2118.

Against the Swiss franc, the dollar recovered to trade slightly higher at 0.8910 franc, after earlier dropping to a nearly six-year low of 0.8886 franc. The greenback was last down .06% at 0.8903.

The dollar gained 0.3% against the yen to 104.15 yen.

Sterling fell 0.2% against the dollar to $1.3423 after trade talks for a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union hit a snag ahead of the weekend. [GBP/]

Bitcoin pulled back to trade late on Friday at $18,906.54 after failing to break above $20,000 for the first time earlier this week.


Currency bid prices at 3:50PM (2050 GMT)

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

Previous Change


Dollar index 90.7980 90.6930 +0.13% +0.00% +90.8310 +90.4710

Euro/Dollar $1.2121 $1.2145 -0.20% +8.12% +1.2177 +1.2117

Dollar/Yen 104.1600 103.9000 +0.19% -4.16% +104.2350 +103.7800

Euro/Yen 126.24 126.11 +0.10% +3.52% +126.6700 +126.0500

Dollar/Swiss 0.8910 0.8910 +0.05% -7.88% +0.8917 +0.8886

Sterling/Dollar 1.3422 1.3448 -0.17% +1.22% +1.3538 +1.3409

Dollar/Canadian 1.2776 1.2864 -0.67% -1.64% +1.2873 +1.2775

Aussie/Dollar 0.7430 0.7442 -0.15% +5.89% +0.7443 +0.7410

Euro/Swiss 1.0801 1.0818 -0.16% -0.50% +1.0848 +1.0801

Euro/Sterling 0.9028 0.9026 +0.02% +6.79% +0.9067 +0.8984

NZ 0.7039 0.7078 -0.54% +4.62% +0.7079 +0.7028


Dollar/Norway 8.8000 8.7370 +0.65% +0.25% +8.8035 +8.7480

Euro/Norway 10.6690 10.6288 +0.38% +8.45% +10.6826 +10.6182

Dollar/Sweden 8.4546 8.4256 -0.06% -9.55% +8.4596 +8.4190

Euro/Sweden 10.2480 10.2539 -0.06% -2.11% +10.2820 +10.2343

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Suzanne Barlyn; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Dan Grebler and Will Dunham)

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Suzanne Barlyn

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (AUD/JPY) -0.01% 79.622 Delayed Quote.1.16%
BITCOIN - UNITED STATES DOLLAR 3.10% 31102.985 Real-time Quote.12.01%
BRITISH POUND / JAPANESE YEN (GBP/JPY) 0.17% 142.607 Delayed Quote.0.88%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (CAD/JPY) 0.17% 81.382 Delayed Quote.0.62%
EURO / BRITISH POUND (EUR/GBP) -0.08% 0.88462 Delayed Quote.-0.93%
JAPANESE YEN / SWISS FRANC (JPY/CHF) -0.21% 0.8526 Delayed Quote.-0.18%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (NZD/JPY) 0.18% 74.491 Delayed Quote.1.17%
US DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (USD/JPY) 0.18% 104.347 Delayed Quote.0.40%
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