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Dollar Lower as Speculation Swirls Pre-Trade Talks

Investing.com -- The dollar was lower across the board in early trading Thursday amid a welter of often contradictory reports about the upcoming trade talks between the U.S. and China which resume later in Washington.

While a conclusive de-escalation of the conflict appears out of reach after another batch of company-specific actions by both sides this week, reports have suggested that both sides would accept some narrower kind of agreement in the short term in order to take the heat off their respective economies, both of which appear to have slowed sharply this year under the strain of the dispute.

Bloomberg reported overnight that the White House wanted to revive the idea of a pact on currency management that had been mooted in talks earlier this year, as well as suspending a tariff increase on Chinese imports which is scheduled to come into force later this month.

The New York Times meanwhile reported that the U.S. could also cut some slack to U.S. companies supplying telecoms giant Huawei.

Others gave a gloomier take on the negotiations, with both the South China Morning Post and Fox News saying they could be cut short.

Having digested all the various reports, the {{|Chinese yuan}} and commodity-linked currencies such as the Aussie and kiwi were all higher against the dollar by early morning in Europe.

By 3:30 AM ET, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was down 0.3% at 98.547. The dollar was also down by around 0.3% against both the mainland and the offshore yuan.

The euro took advantage of the dollar’s weakness to rise above $1.1000 for the first time in a week. By 3.30 AM ET, it was up 0.4% at $1.1041. That was despite weaker-than-expected industrial production data from France and lower-than-expected exports from Germany in August.

Even the Turkish lira, which hit a four-month low against the dollar earlier in the week as its troops lined up to invade northern Syria, has staged a brief recovery, rising 0.2% before paring gains to trade at 5.8686 to the dollar.

Elsewhere, the British pound was steady against the dollar but lower against the euro ahead of last-ditch talks between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar on resolving the Irish border issues in the Brexit talks.

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