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Euro steadies as dollar picks up gains on U.S., China trade deal optimism - REUTERS

OCTOBER 22, 2019

BY   Olga Cotaga

LONDON (Reuters) - The euro was steady on Tuesday after rising to a two-month high in the previous session versus the dollar as traders waited for the British parliament to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill as it will shine light on when and how Britain will exit the EU.

The United Kingdom is expected to leave the European Union on Oct. 31, but the deal Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his European counterparts agreed last week has not been yet voted on in the Britain’s parliament, which forced Johnson to request an extension to the leaving date from Brussels.

The bill is expected to be presented for a vote in parliament around 1800 GMT.

The euro-dollar has been driven mostly by Brexit developments of late, as well as by trade disputes between the United States and China.

Hopes the United States and China were making progress to resolve their trade dispute supported the dollar in the Asian trading session.

China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said progress was being made in discussions with the United States and that while both sides respected each other, no problem was beyond resolution.

That followed comments from U.S. President Donald Trump, who said work toward ending the trade dispute was going well, while White House adviser Larry Kudlow said tariffs scheduled for December could be withdrawn if progress was made.

The euro was flat at $1.1146 EUR=EBS after rising to a two-month high against the dollar on Monday. Against a basket of six major currencies, the greenback was neutral at 97.32 .DXY.

The Japanese yen was also flat at 108.575 JPY=EBS, not far from the 1-1/2 month low it reached last week.

The traditional safe-haven currencies such as the yen, Swiss franc, and to a lesser extent the U.S. dollar, have given back gains this month as global investor risk sentiment improved on the back of building optimism over U.S.-China trade and Brexit deals.

“Until the recent improvement in risk sentiment is more seriously challenged, safe haven currencies should remain on the back foot in the near-term,” MUFG analysts said in a note.

Elsewhere, the Canadian dollar CAD=D3 steadied after jumping to a three-month high of 1.3071 against the U.S. dollar with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looking on track to retain power in a close-run election. His ruling liberals will form a minority government, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp projected, as results rolled in.

The Canadian dollar has been the best performing major currency this year, rising by about 3.7% in the 10 months.

The pound awaited Brexit developments to determine its fate.

It was last trading flat at $1.2958, a whisker away from the 5 1/2 months high of $1.3012 it reached on Monday GBP=D3.

MUFG analysts said for sterling to sustain gains above $1.30, the government’s Brexit deal will have to pass smoothly in the week.

Reporting by Olga Cotaga; Editing by Alison Williams

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