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Sterling edges higher on renewed Brexit deal hopes

Friday,   20-Nov-2020   04:31 PM (IST)

Sterling edged higher against the euro and the dollar after an European Union official said the bloc and Britain are very close to agreement on most issues even if they are still at odds over three main points. Britain left the EU in January and it is in talks with the bloc on a future trading relationship, as a transition period ends on 31 December. As time runs out for a trade deal, an EU official told ambassadors in Brussels that the EU and Britain are “both close” to reaching an agreement but differences persist over fishing rights, guarantees of fair competition and ways to solve future disputes. After being flat in earlier trade, the pound gained 0.2% versus to stand at 89.31 pence per euro at 0940 GMT. Versus the dollar, it was up about 0.1% at $1.3282. Chief Brexit negotiators suspended direct talks on Thursday after a member of the EU team tested positive for COVID-19, but officials continued working remotely to clinch a trade deal that would come into force in just six weeks.