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Euro steadies as investors await Brexit vote


THE euro was steady on Tuesday after rising to a two-month high in the previous session versus the US 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 Britain's parliament, which forced Mr 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-US dollar has been driven mostly by Brexit developments of late, as well as by trade disputes between the United States and China.

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Hopes that the United States and China were making progress to resolve their trade dispute supported the US 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 US President Donald Trump, who said work towards 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the trade dispute was going well, while White House adviser Larry Kudlow said tariffs scheduled for December could be withdrawn if progress was made.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 US$1.1146 after rising to a two-month high against the US dollar on Monday. Against a basket of six major currencies, the greenback was neutral at 97.32.

The Japanese yen was also flat at 108.575, not far from the 1½ month low it reached last week.

The traditional safe-haven currencies such as the yen, Swiss franc, and to a lesser extent the US dollar, have given back gains this month as global investor risk sentiment improved on the back of building optimism over US-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 steadied after jumping to a three-month high of 1.3071 against the US 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 per cent in the 10 months.

The pound awaited Brexit developments to determine its fate.

It was last trading flat at US$1.2958, a whisker away from the 5½ months high of US$1.3012 it reached on Monday. REUTERS