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Market Update

Sterling was falling this morning, retreating from the one-year high it reached the day before, on growing scepticism that Britain will be able to clinch a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union by the end of this month.

The EU is still negotiating a trade deal with Britain, European Council President Charles Michel said earlier today.

The next event to eye is the European Council meeting on Dec. 10, with many self-imposed deadlines broken and issues such as fisheries and level playing field still hanging.

The British pound climbed to a one-year high near $1.35 on Thursday as a U.S. dollar selloff gathered momentum.

Britain’s upper house of parliament voted last month to remove clauses in the Internal Market Bill which broke international law, but the government intends to reinstate them in the lower chamber on Monday.

That would complicate negotiations with Brussels, which has protested intensely against it.

The United Kingdom’s total death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 60,000 yesterday, by the government’s preferred measure of deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

The UK toll is the fifth highest in the world after the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico. It is the highest in Europe ahead of Italy and France.

Official daily data showed that 414 new deaths were reported on Thursday, taking the total since the start of the pandemic to 60,113.

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