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FOREX-Dollar steadies ahead of debate but set for weekly loss on stimulus hopes

    * U.S. dollar creeps higher in Asia, but on track for poor
week
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

    By Tom Westbrook
    SINGAPORE, Oct 23 (Reuters) - The dollar took stock at the
end of a poor week on Friday, having shed about a cent against
the euro and suffered its largest weekly drop against the yen in
a month, as investors began to wager on a Biden presidency and
big U.S. stimulus.
    Daily moves were slight and mostly in the dollar's favour
early in the Asia session as traders awaited the final U.S.
presidential debate, which begins at 0100 GMT.
    Markets could be sensitive to any vote-shifting moments as
campaigning hits fever pitch ahead of polling day on Nov. 3.
    The dollar has lifted from Wednesday's seven-week low
against a basket of currencies, but still sits about 0.8%
lower for the week and in the bottom half of a monthslong range.
    Persistent hopes that Congress might pass a stimulus package
before the election and confidence that spending follows anyway,
no matter who gets elected, has driven a selloff in the bond
market in anticipation of more government borrowing.
    The dollar has been sold through the week because the
prospect of stimulus has supported investors' mood and their
appetite for riskier currencies instead, while underlying
caution has also given the safe-haven Japanese yen a boost.
    "If we do get through and Biden wins and he pushes on with
stimulus, then we're back in to a negative U.S. dollar, risk-on,
positive for Aussie and kiwi kind of story," said Westpac
currency analyst Imre Speizer.
    "But for now there's still a bit of a political risk
overhang," he said.
    The risk-sensitive Australian dollar inched 0.1%
higher early on Friday and is about 0.7% firmer this week, with
further gains capped by a growing expectation that the Reserve
Bank of Australia will cut rates when it meets in November.
    The New Zealand dollar slipped 0.l% Friday after
softer-than-expected inflation data, but has gained almost 1%
for the week.
    The Japanese yen dipped overnight after U.S. House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said there was progress in stimulus talks,
but it is about half a percent higher for the week and has
ground nearly 3% higher since April.
    The euro has gained 0.8% this week, though pulled
back overnight as COVID-19 cases surge in Europe.
    British, European and U.S. Purchasing Managers' Index
figures are due later on Friday.
    Sterling slipped overnight on uncertainty over Brexit
outlook, but it is up 1.2% this week and is clinging on above
$1.30 thanks to hopes that Britain and the European Union can
reach a trade deal before a transition period ends on Dec. 31.
    In offshore trade the Chinese yuan hovered just short
of a more than two-year high hit earlier in the week.
    Analysts said the debate may not move markets immediately,
but that political uncertainty over the election meant for a
risky environment.
    "There may be verbal fireworks but we expect no material
impact on the dollar," said Commonwealth Bank of Australia
currency analyst Kim Mundy.
    "We continue to see a high risk that the election outcome is
delayed or contested," she said, adding to near-term downside
risks for the Australian dollar.

    ========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 8:19AM (019 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.1795        $1.1819     -0.20%         +5.21%      +1.1823     +1.1792
 Dollar/Yen                   104.8450       104.9250    +0.00%         -3.39%      +104.9300   +104.9300
 Euro/Yen                     123.66         123.93      -0.22%         +1.40%      +124.0100   +123.6600
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.9087         0.9072      +0.18%         -6.08%      +0.9090     +0.9072
 Sterling/Dollar              1.3063         1.3083      -0.13%         -1.49%      +1.3086     +1.3062
 Dollar/Canadian              1.3148         1.3139      +0.08%         +1.22%      +1.3149     +1.3125
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7118         0.7118      +0.01%         +1.45%      +0.7139     +0.7115
 NZ                           0.6665         0.6675      -0.13%         -0.94%      +0.6678     +0.6659
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Volatilities 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ 

 (Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Sam Holmes)
  
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