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Dollar Firms Up Against Peers

The U.S. dollar gained against its peers on Friday on safe-haven appeal after new restrictions in Europe due to a resurgence in Covid-19 cases dampened prospects of economic recovery.

Several governments across Europe reimposed lockdown measures following a second wave of infections. The U.K., France and Spain reported spikes in new coronavirus cases on Thursday.

Traders were also following stimulus talks in Washington, where the Democrats are reportedly preparing a $2.2 trillion package.

Data from the Commerce Department showed that durable goods orders climbed much less than expected in the month of August.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders rose by 0.4% in August after soaring by an upwardly revised 11.7% in July.

The dollar index rose to a two-month high at 94.74 around mid morning, and despite paring some gains subsequently, was firmly up in positive territory at 94.60 around late afternoon, gaining 0.26% over previous close.

Against the Euro, the dollar firmed up to $1.1613 before noon, and was last seen at $1.1630, still notably up from Thursday's close of $1.1670. Data from the European Central Bank showed that Eurozone money supply increased at a slower pace in August and credit to the private sector logged a steady growth.

The Pound Sterling was flat at $1.2744, after easing to $1.2698 from a high of $1.2806 it had touched earlier. According to data released by the Office for National Statistics, the UK budget deficit widened to the highest on record in August due to lower income and government's coronavirus relief schemes.

Public sector net borrowing excluding public sector banks, increased by GBP 30.5 billion from last year to GBP 35.9 billion in August.

The Japanese currency Yen was down at 105.59 a dollar, after closing at 105.41 a dollar on Thursday.

The Aussie weakened to US$0.7029, down more than 0.25% from its previous close.

The Swiss franc was down at 0.9299 a dollar, while the Loonie weakened to 1.3393 a dollar, netting a modest loss.

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