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Dollar Loses Ground Against Rivals As U.S.-China Agree On Trade Deal

The U.S. dollar was weak against most major currencies on Friday as news about the U.S. and China agreeing on the text of a phase one trade deal dimmed the currency's safe-haven appeal.

The Pound Sterling's rise after the thumping victory of the ruling conservative party, headed by Boris Johnson, in the U.K. general election, too played a role in the dollar's decline.

A somewhat disappointing report on U.S. retail sales weighed as well on the dollar.

The dollar index, which declined to a low of 96.72 at one stage, rallied to 97.24 later on in the session, but was still down 0.17% from previous close.

The Euro strengthened to $1.1120, gaining more than 0.1% from previous close.

The Pound Sterling had a good outing, gaining more than 1.3% against the dollar with a unit of sterling fetching $1.3340.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's thumping victory in the country's general election has raised hopes of an orderly Brexit.

The Japanese Yen was down just marginally at 109.34 a dollar.

Against the loonie, the dollar was little changed at 1.3185, while it was down 0.1% against Swiss franc with the pair trading at 0.9840.

The Aussie, however, was down nearly 0.6% against the dollar, at 0.6869.

On the trade front, Chinese officials have confirmed that the U.S. and China have reached an agreement on text of a phase one trade deal.

As part of the agreement, the U.S. will not implement tariff hikes proposed to take effect on Sunday and instead, begin phasing out existing tariffs. Tariffs imposed on September 1 will now be cut to 7.5% from 15%, although the 25% tariff on other Chinese goods will remain in place.

China has reportedly agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of U.S. agricultural products, energy, and manufactured goods.

In economic news, a report released by the Commerce Department showed retail sales in the U.S. edged up by 0.2% in November after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.4% in October.

Economists had expected retail sales to climb by 0.5% compared to the 0.3% increase originally reported for the previous month.

Another report from the Commerce Department said business inventories in the U.S. increased in line with economist estimates in the month of October, rising 0.2%, after edging down by a revised 0.1% in September.

Economists had expected inventories to edge up by 0.2% compared to the unchanged reading originally reported for the previous month.

A report from the Labor Department said import prices rose by 0.2% in November after falling by 0.5% in October. Export prices also edged up by 0.2% in November after slipping by 0.1% in the previous month. Economists had expected export prices to inch up by 0.1%.

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