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FOREX-Dollar headed for weekly loss amid election, stimulus uncertainty
Published at 23/10/2020 at 15:16

By John McCrank

NEW YORK, Oct 23 (Reuters) - The dollar eased against a basket of major currencies on Friday following the final U.S. presidential debate, with fading prospects for a coronavirus relief package before the Nov. 3 elections pulling the greenback toward a weekly decline.

Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden squared off on Friday in a less raucous debate than their previous meeting, but tensions were still high, with a focus on the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and plenty of personal attacks thrown into the mix.

"It was certainly more productive than the first one, but I don't think there was any meaningful shakeup in the outlook for the election," said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions.

The market is looking at a potential Biden victory as setting the stage for a more robust post-election rescue package, which is reducing the demand for the safe-haven greenback, he added.

The dollar index was last down 0.13%, bringing it nearly 1% lower for the week.

Given the potential risk of a contested election result, the dollar is likely to be confined to the range it has been in for the last several weeks, Manimbo said.

In Europe, business surveys in France and Germany showed the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 infections in the euro zone's two biggest economies, threatening to derail the bloc's nascent recovery.

Despite the data, the euro edged higher 0.2% against the greenback to $1.1844.

"The PMIs weren't good, but they weren't as bad as expected, and that's the important point," said Marshall Gittler, head of investment research at BDSwiss Group.

"Furthermore, stock prices are being boosted by some good earnings reports from Daimler, Barclays and others, and that's encouraging a 'risk-on' mood in FX too," he added.

The euro also firmed after Reuters reported that France was laying the groundwork for a fisheries compromise to help the European Union strike a Brexit deal with Britain.

Sterling also gained on the report, before easing back to 1.3065, down 0.12% against the dollar.

The safe-haven yen dipped 0.15% to 104.76 per dollar following comments on Thursday by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi that stimulus talks had made progress.

The Chinese yuan ticked down 0.11% against the dollar after an official at China's foreign exchange regulator said it has been more stable than expected, suggesting authorities are not too worried about its recent rise.

The yuan has gained about 7.5% since the end of May as China led the global coronavirus recovery.

========================================================

Currency bid prices at 9:52AM (1352 GMT)

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

Previous Change

Session

Euro/Dollar $1.1840 $1.1819 +0.18% +5.62% +1.1860 +1.1787

Dollar/Yen 104.7600 104.9250 -0.15% -3.54% +104.9300 +104.5800

Euro/Yen 124.03 123.93 +0.08% +1.71% +124.2100 +123.4200

Dollar/Swiss 0.9049 0.9072 -0.25% -6.49% +0.9092 +0.9035

Sterling/Dollar 1.3065 1.3083 -0.12% -1.48% +1.3121 +1.3051

Dollar/Canadian 1.3136 1.3139 -0.02% +1.12% +1.3157 +1.3110

Aussie/Dollar 0.7117 0.7118 +0.01% +1.45% +0.7158 +0.7103

Euro/Swiss 1.0712 1.0720 -0.07% -1.29% +1.0726 +1.0703

Euro/Sterling 0.9061 0.9027 +0.38% +7.18% +0.9074 +0.9022

NZ 0.6676 0.6675 +0.00% -0.80% +0.6704 +0.6657

Dollar/Dollar

Dollar/Norway 9.2415 9.2585 -0.10% +5.44% +9.2935 +9.2045

Euro/Norway 10.9410 10.9329 +0.07% +11.21% +10.9675 +10.9042

Dollar/Sweden 8.7567 8.7509 +0.04% -6.32% +8.7933 +8.7345

Euro/Sweden 10.3690 10.3651 +0.04% -0.96% +10.3825 +10.3519

(Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

((john.mccrank@thomsonreuters.com Twitter @jmccrank; 1 646 223-6643; Reuters Messaging: john.mccrank.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))