"Dollar gains as trade talks between U.S. and China take focus"

The dollar rose on Friday as investors prepared for the outcome of trade talks between the United States and China at the G20 meeting on Saturday, which investors expect will increase volatility across markets.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday there were some good signs ahead of the meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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“We’re working very hard. If we could make a deal, that would be good. I think they want to. I think we’d like to. We’ll see,” he said.

Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Friday he would be surprised if Saturday's dinner between Trump and Jinping "wasn't a success."

“For now, really, the trade issue seems to be a dominant theme swaying sentiment,” said Mazen Issa, senior FX strategist at TD Securities in New York. “If you have any sort of news or headlines that is indicative of a positive or negative outcome, I think markets are going to react accordingly.”

The dollar index gained 0.51 percent to 97.268. The Chinese yuan weakened 0.20 percent to 6.96 per dollar.

Credit Suisse strategists expect the Chinese currency to weaken to a decade low of 7.20 per dollar by end-2019.

Data on Friday showed growth in China's vast manufacturing sector stalled for the first time in over two years in November as new orders slowed, piling pressure on Beijing ahead of the trade talk.

Investors are also continuing to evaluate comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday that the U.S. central bank's policy rate is now "just below" neutral, a level that neither brakes nor boosts a healthy U.S. economy.

The immediate reaction sent the dollar tumbling as investors saw the Fed as likely to end its rate-hiking cycle sooner than previously expected.
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"Dollar gains as trade talks between U.S. and China take focus" - http://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-forex/dollar-gains-as-trade-talks-between-u-s-and-china-take-focus-idUSKCN1NZ05U
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