Dollar gains

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    TOKYO – The dollar traded near its strongest in more than two months against the euro and the yen on Thursday as pessimism about the US economic outlook receded before the release of important data on the jobs market.

    The British pound held steady against the dollar and traded near an eight-month high versus the euro ahead of a Bank of England policy meeting that will publish findings on the feasibility of negative interest rates.

    Sentiment for the dollar has improved recently as progress in coronavirus vaccinations, moves by US President Joe Biden to pass more fiscal stimulus, and improving economic data forced some bearish investors to give up their short positions.

    The dollar faces another test on Friday with the release of non-farm payrolls data, which will help confirm whether the world’s largest economy has shrugged off a dip in growth toward the end of last year.

    “The dollar’s recovery was triggered by a rebound in yields and an increase in inflation expectations,” said Junichi Ishikawa, senior foreign exchange strategist at IG Securities.

    “This is supporting the dollar, which now has more room to rise against the euro, because the euro zone looks like it is lagging behind US economic growth.”

    Against the euro, the dollar stood at $1.2035, close to a nine-week high.

    The pound bought $1.3643, stabilizing after a 0.2 percent decline in the previous session.

    Sterling traded at 88.19 pence per euro, near the strongest since May last year.