Currencies steady

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    TOKYO- The dollar steadied against most currencies on Tuesday as a return of coronavirus restrictions in some US states and worries about a smooth transition for President-elect Joe Biden offset optimism about a coronavirus vaccine.

    The British pound edged higher on media reports the UK could reach a post-Brexit trade agreement with the European Union by early next week.

    Moderna became the second US pharmaceutical company in a week to report positive results from trials of a COVID-19 vaccine, considered necessary to eradicate the pandemic.

    Last week, encouraging progress in coronavirus vaccine testing helped the dollar rise against the safe-harbor yen and the Swiss franc.

    However, reaction in the currency market to subsequent developments has been subdued as the United States struggles to contain a second wave of infections, and with vaccine distribution not expected any time soon.

    There is also some uncertainty about Biden’s plans to tackle the coronavirus and stimulate the economy as the Trump administration resists cooperation with Biden’s transition team.

    “The market reaction has been limited because it will take time to distribute the vaccine, and there is uncertainty about US politics,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief foreign exchange strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.