* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019
* Dollar remains near 2019 high
* Euro marginally lower, sterling still under Brexit cloud
By Vatsal Srivastava
SINGAPORE, Feb 12 (Reuters) - The dollar held close to its 2019
high on Tuesday as U.S.-Sino trade tensions and global growth worries
underpinned the greenback's safe-haven appeal, while the euro and the
British pound were hurt by troubles of their own.
Investors are focussing on high level trade talks in China this
week where Washington is expected to keep pressing Beijing on
long-standing demands that it make sweeping structural reforms to
protect American companies' intellectual property, to end policies
aimed at forcing the transfer of technology to Chinese companies, and
curb industrial subsidies.
"The dollar is benefiting from the investor nervousness
around the trade talks," said Sim Moh Siong, currency strategist
at Bank of Singapore.
"Beyond its safe haven appeal, the dollar is still the
highest yielding currency in the developed world and with all major
central banks turning dovish, the greenback seems relatively attractive."
This week's talks come as the world's two largest economies try
to hammer out a deal before a March 1 deadline, after which U.S.
tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to
increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.
Financial markets have been roiled by the trade tensions over the
past year, with business sentiment taking a hit around the world as
the fallout of the U.S.-China dispute disrupted factory activity and
hurt global growth.
The dollar has gained on other safe havens such as the yen and
franc over the last week. It was steady against the yen
at 110.37 and a touch higher versus the Swiss franc
The dollar index was steady at 97.06, after advancing
0.45 percent in the previous session, its largest percentage gain
since Jan. 24. The index has risen for eight straight sessions, mainly
thanks to a tumbling euro , which has the largest weighting in the
The single currency was off slightly at $1.1272 in early Asian
trade, having lost nearly half a percent on Monday. The euro has
weakened for six consecutive sessions, and traders expect further
losses now that the crucial psychological support of $1.13 has been
"The next level of support for EUR/USD is the November low of
1.1215 which should be tested quickly," said Kathy Lien, managing
director of currency strategy at BK Asset Management.
The European Central Bank is expected to maintain a highly
accommodative monetary policy this year as growth slows in the
eurozone and inflation stays low. Last week, the European Commission
sharply cut its forecasts for euro zone growth for this year and next.
Elsewhere, sterling was marginally higher at $1.2857, after
tumbling 0.75 percent in the previous session. Analysts expect the
British pound to remain volatile due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
The British parliament is set to hold a debate on Brexit on Feb.
14 where Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking changes to her deal
with Brussels after it was rejected by a record majority in parliament
(Reporting by Vatsal Srivastava Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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