August 30, 2018 / 8:04 AM / in 2 months

FOREX-Dollar falls for 5th day as trade war fears ease

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2018 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

By Saikat Chatterjee

LONDON, Aug 30 (Reuters) - The dollar fell for a fifth consecutive day on Thursday as easing concerns over trade conflicts fuelled appetite for riskier currencies though thin month-end markets checked losses.

Against its main rivals, it held at a one-month low of 94.52 as some investors bet a likely trade deal between the United States and Canada would reduce the pool of money that has flocked to the dollar in recent days on concerns that any escalation in trade conflict would be beneficial to the currency.

The United States and Canada expressed optimism on Wednesday that they could reach new NAFTA deal by a Friday, though Ottawa said a number of tricky issues remained.

“Despite volatile overnight markets in Asia, risk appetite in currencies is broadly on the mend as trade war concerns seem to be receding, which should pressure the dollar lower,” said Manuel Oliveri, an FX strategist at Credit Agricole in London.

Sterling led currency gainers on hopes that Britain and the European Union will agree on future trade ties before Brexit takes effect.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Wednesday it was prepared to offer Britain an unprecedentedly close relationship, but that the bloc must prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

Exaggerated in part by the unwinding of recently built short positions, the pound has recaptured $1.30 for the first time since Aug. 6 and euro/sterling has fallen 1.3 percent in the last two sessions to below 90 pence and is on track for its biggest two-day rise of 2018.

The euro remained firm against the dollar above $1.17 as investors bet a rise in risk appetite would boost the single currency. It has gained more than 3.5 percent over the last two weeks from a two-month low.

“As investors’ focus shifted to the NAFTA and Brexit negotiations, the dollar didn’t get much of a boost from weak emerging market currencies,” said Tohru Sasaki, head of markets research at JPMorgan Chase Bank in Tokyo.

New Zealand’s dollar fell as much as 1 percent to $0.6645 after business confidence sunk to a decade low in August.

The offshore Chinese yuan dipped 0.3 percent to 6.8430 per dollar, extending its losses into a third session. (Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee; Additional reporting by Tomo Uetake in TOKYO; editing by John Stonestreet)

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