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CURRENCIES

Dollar gains on stock bounce and China's upbeat data

New York

THE dollar climbed on Friday against a basket of currencies as global equity prices rebounded from the week's rout and robust Chinese export figures soothed worries about the world's second-biggest economy and its trade war with Washington.

Euro and sterling snapped their three-day winning streak in advance of the European Union summit where Britain and the EU may strike a Brexit deal.

China's exports jumped 14.5 per cent in September from a year earlier, the biggest year-over-year increase in seven months and marking a record trade surplus with the US. The data suggested that the tariffs US President Donald Trump has slapped on Beijing have yet to bite. A weaker yuan likely mitigated the sting from US duties on US$250 billion worth of Chinese- made goods, analysts said.

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US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that he told China's central bank chief that currency issues need to be part of any further US-China trade talks.

The euro and pound retreated from two-week and three-week peaks, respectively, versus the greenback after EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in comments on Wednesday suggested an agreement for Britain to leave the EU could be reached next week.

The single currency was down 0.27 per cent at US$1.1562, while sterling was 0.59 per cent lower at US$1.3157. The common currency also fell after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi toned down his outlook for a rise in underlying inflation from "relatively vigorous" to "gradual".

The Chinese yuan fell 0.65 per cent to 6.9227 per dollar in offshore trading, as the latest Chinese export figures stoked concerns that they would ratchet up trade tension between China and the US. REUTERS