Brexit hopes boost both sterling and euro

A panel displays the closing Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong

The dollar eased against its rivals Tuesday, amid a surge in sterling after the European Union and Britain agreed a draft text of a Brexit withdrawal agreement, though doubts lingered about whether the United Kingdom parliament would back the deal.

Monday's equity sell-off in the US was led by tech stocks, with Apple's stock slumping over 5 percent.

LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - The dollar surged to almost 17-month highs on Monday against a basket of major currencies as investors sought out the liquid and high-yielding asset against a backdrop of global growth worries and rising political risk in Italy and Britain. Added to that litany is a view that corporate earnings growth has peaked amid rising borrowing costs.

Hedge funds have resumed shorting the euro in recent weeks as expectations of a diverging trend in economic growth, and consequently interest rates have encouraged investors to borrow euros and invest the proceeds in US dollars. The CME group's FedWatch tool puts the probability of a December rate hike at 75 per cent. -China trade dispute has escalated, dipped 0.2 percent but remained near a 16-month high reached on Monday.

Sterling lost more than one percent at one point, holding near a 10-day low hit earlier, while the euro, comprising more than 50 percent of the dollar index, fell 0.7 percent to its lowest since July 2017. He forecast that the euro could fall further against the dollar. The yen touched a six-week low of 114.20 on Monday.

The dollar has been preferred over the yen due to the diverging monetary policies of the Fed and the Bank of Japan, which is expected to retain its ultra-loose monetary policy settings for some time in the face stubbornly sluggish inflation.

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But analysts believe that the yen will strengthen thanks to its safe-haven status if global risk sentiment worsens.

That being said, we did see a modest upward revision to the crucial composite PMI number. It has slipped against the dollar in the last three trading sessions and posted its largest percentage decline versus the dollar since September 21 on Monday.

Sterling traded with a weak bias in early Asian trade at $1.2856. Disagreements within the Tory Party over how to proceed with Brexit, typified by the resignation of transport minister Jo Johnson on Friday, highlighted just how challenging it will be for Theresa May to get any European Union exit agreement through parliament.

In the euro zone, Italy faces a Tuesday deadline to submit a revised budget to the European Union, but its refusal so far to cut the draft deficit sets the stage for a collision with Brussels.

The euro was knocked back by concerns about Rome's tussle with the European Commission over its 2019 budget and weakness in Italy's banking sector.

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