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Sterling Rises on Speculation of UK Softening Brexit Stance - The pound rose on Friday on a newspaper report that the U.K. government is contemplating some type of regulatory divergence between Northern Ireland the U.K. in an attempt to secure a Brexit deal.

According to The Times, Northern Ireland's DUP would be willing to accept some EU regulations following a U.K. withdrawal from the EU -- replacing the Irish backstop proposal -- raising some hopes of a new deal. But the DUP denied the report shortly afterwards.

GBP/USD jumped 0.8% to 1.2431 as of 10:35 AM ET (14:35 GMT) as traders continued to move out of short positions on sterling following the report.

The euro inched up, with EUR/USD rising 0.1% to 1.1071.

Elsewhere, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.1% to 98.243 as hopes of a trade truce between the U.S. and China lead to a safe-haven selloff.

China will exempt some agricultural products from more tariffs on U.S. goods, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said on Friday. Both sides have made conciliatory gestures ahead of planned trade talks in the coming weeks.

The Japanese yen, which is seen as a safe haven in times of market turmoil, was flat with USD/JPY at 108.11.

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