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Dollar Flat Ahead of Jobless Claims, EU Summit; Evergrande Hits High Yielders

The dollar was consolidating at lower levels in early trade in Europe on Thursday, after the revival of some concerns over China’s real estate crisis interrupted the momentum of higher-yielding currencies.

China Evergrande shares plunged as it resumed trading after a break of nearly three weeks, as the embattled developer was forced to abandon a proposed asset disposal that would have helped meet its short-term obligations. As such, the company is likely to fall into formal default

when the grace period on one of its dollar bonds expires on Friday.

By 3 AM ET (0700 GMT), the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of advanced market economies, was up 0.1% at 93.62, still stuck more than half a percentage point from where it started the week.

The dollar’s biggest gains were against commodity currencies, as the Evergrande news cast fresh doubt on the demand trajectory for iron ore, copper and oil from a sector that is a big contributor to Chinese GDP.

The yuan, however, remained stable, mainly because of confidence in Beijing’s assurances that it can stop a systemic crisis. The dollar ticked up 0.1% to 6.4011 yuan.

Against European currencies, the dollar was flat against the euro at $1.1643 and 0.2% higher against the pound at $1.3801, after data showing a sharp rise in U.K. government borrowing in September.

The figures underlined the vulnerability of the U.K. economy to the higher interest rates that most market participants see coming before the end of the year. A higher debt servicing bill will reduce the space that the U.K. Treasury has to support the economy.

The euro fared better against emerging European currencies, rising 0.3% against the Polish zloty and 0.4% against the Hungarian forint ahead of a summit meeting that is likely to be overshadowed by the EU’s dispute with Poland over the rule of law.

Later Thursday, the U.S. will release weekly jobless claims data. Analysts expect initial jobless claims to tick up to 300,000, from a post-pandemic low of 293,000 the previous week.

There is little else of market-moving data due, although the Central Bank of Turkey’s meeting will be in the spotlight after the recent upheaval at the institution. The lira has plunged to all-time lows after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired the only policy makers to resist a course that is failing to keep inflation under control.

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