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Dollar Remains Firm as Euro Slumps on Italian Political Uncertainty

Dollar Remains Firm as Euro Slumps on Italian Political Uncertainty

The dollar strengthened on Thursday, as the euro fell to a five-month low on concerns the political developments in Italy could cause wider disruptions in the common currency bloc.

The euro was last at $1.1827, up 0.15 percent on the day, after dropping overnight to $1.1763, its lowest since Dec. 18. The single currency has lost almost one percent this week.

Political uncertainty in Italy, where populist parties have jostled to forge a common platform in a bid to lead the next government, have been a major drag on the euro.

The euro fell to a five-month low on reports Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and anti-immigrant League may ask the European Central Bank to forgive 250 billion euros of debt as the parties worked to draft a coalition programme.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies fell 0.2 percent to 93.180 but was in close reach of 93.632, its highest since Dec. 19 marked on Wednesday.

The pound climbed 0.5 percent to $1.3558 after the Telegraph reported that Britain will tell Brussels it is prepared to stay in the European Union's customs union beyond 2021.

The dollar edged down 0.15 percent to 110.270 yen. A rise above 110.450 would take the greenback to its highest since Feb. 2 versus its Japanese peer.

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