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Dollar expected to post biggest weekly gain in a month as stimulus talks weaken

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The dollar took a break on Friday, but remained on track for its biggest weekly gain in a month amid growing market caution in the face of a global surge in coronavirus cases and the fading prospect of a US stimulus plan ahead of the November 3 elections.

New measures to tackle COVID-19 have been introduced across Europe, while the US Midwest also faces record highs in new cases, with data showing the country’s economic recovery is faltering.

Investors will receive another indicator of the health of the US economy with retail sales data expected later Friday. The relief plans remain mired in a three-way negotiation between the White House, Senate Republicans and House Democrats.

Both the dollar and the Japanese yen are on track for weekly gains in investor appetite for safe-haven securities of 0.7% and 0.4% respectively.

On Friday, the greenback squeezed a tight range in morning trading in Europe, with the dollar index last falling 0.1%. The euro strengthened slightly, lasted 0.1%.

On a monthly basis, the dollar index is up 0.7%, its biggest increase since the end of September.

“The fight against corona is not a sprint but a marathon and this is becoming increasingly clear in the forex market as well,” said Esther Reichelt, FX analyst at Commerzbank, in a note.

“The winners will be all the economies and their respective currencies that are most successful in overcoming the economic challenges posed by the pandemic … Until then, the forex market will be dominated by considerations of risk.”

The British pound gained around a third of a percent as markets waited for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to outline his response to the European Union’s demand for more concessions in Brexit negotiations.

He previously set October 15 as the deadline for a deal to be reached. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Friday that there was still a trade deal “to be concluded”.

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