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FOREX-Bitcoin clings to Tesla gains, dollar set for weekly loss

    * Bitcoin set for 20% weekly rise
    * Traders reassess pace of U.S. recovery on weak jobs data
    * Euro ticks down 
    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

    By Julien Ponthus
    LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Bitcoin hovered close
to record highs on Friday, set for gains of over 20% in a
milestone week marked by the endorsement of major firms, such as
Elon Musk's Tesla, while the weak U.S. jobs market continued to
weigh on the dollar. 
    The world's most popular cryptocurrency last traded 1.1%
down at $47,451, just south of a record high of $49,000 reached
after U.S. banking group BNY Mellon said it had formed a
unit to help clients hold, transfer, and issue digital assets.
   Tesla revealed it had bought $1.5 billion worth of
the cryptocurrency and BlackRock, the world's largest
asset manager, added bitcoin as an eligible investment to two
funds.
    Credit card giant Mastercard's plans to offer support
for some cryptocurrencies also boosted bitcoin's ambitions
towards mainstream finance, but many banks are reluctant to
engage with it. 
    "We do not cover other speculative objects such as vintage
cars, works of art or expensive watches", Commerzbank Research
said in a note on why it would not comment on the bitcoin
exchange rate that some analysts say could test the $50,000
level soon.
    Elsewhere the dollar headed for its first losing week in
three as signs of weakness in the U.S. jobs market dented
investor expectations about the pace of economic recovery from
the pandemic.
    In early European trade, the dollar index edged up
0.15% to 90.55 after subdued volumes in Asia due to the Lunar
New Year. It was on track to fall 0.5% for the week.
    The dollar was slightly up against the yen at 104.940
. 
    The weaker-than-expected weekly U.S. jobless claims data on
Thursday added to concerns the dollar's previous rally had
priced in too fast a rebound for the U.S. economy.
    There has been a divergence in views among traders this year
over how U.S. President Joe Biden's planned $1.9 trillion fiscal
stimulus package will affect the dollar.
    Some see it as bolstering the currency as it should speed a
U.S. recovery relative to other countries, while others reckoned
it would feed a global reflation narrative that should lift
riskier assets at the dollar's expense.
    The euro slipped 0.17% to $1.2115, consolidating
for a third day near that level as it headed for a 0.5% weekly
advance.
    The common currency was flat against the pound at 0.876  
after official figures showed Britain's coronavirus-ravaged
economy slumped by 9.9% in 2020, the biggest annual crash in
more than 300 years, but avoided heading back towards recession
at the end of last year.  
    Norway's crown strengthened slightly and pared some losses
against the euro after data showed the country's economy
contracted by 2.5% last year, a decline less severe than in most
other European nations.
    It traded last at 10.2940, down 0.1% against the euro.
    
    
========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 8:31AM (831 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.2109        $1.2133     -0.19%         -0.89%      +1.2135     +1.2105
 Dollar/Yen                   104.9600       104.7300    +0.23%         +1.63%      +104.9800   +104.7850
 Euro/Yen                     127.09         127.05      +0.03%         +0.13%      +127.2300   +127.0200
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.8911         0.8898      +0.16%         +0.73%      +0.8913     +0.8901
 Sterling/Dollar              1.3790         1.3816      -0.17%         +0.96%      +1.3816     +1.3785
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2739         1.2703      +0.28%         +0.04%      +1.2740     +1.2695
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7734         0.7755      -0.25%         +0.55%      +0.7756     +0.7734
 NZ                           0.7200         0.7227      -0.33%         +0.31%      +0.7232     +0.7203
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Volatilities 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ 

    
 (Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Editing by Sam Holmes, Simon
Cameron-Moore and Barbara lewis)
  
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