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FOREX-Dollar nursing losses after jobs data mars recovery narrative; sterling buoyant

    * Graphic: World FX rates tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

    By Kevin Buckland
    TOKYO, Feb 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar maintained its
biggest loss in 10 days on Friday after disappointing U.S.
labour market data bruised optimism for the country's speedy
recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The greenback continued to buck its traditional role as a
safe-harbour currency, falling in sympathy with U.S. stocks
overnight after an unexpected increase in weekly jobless claims
soured the economic outlook.
    The British pound traded near an almost three-year high
reached overnight, when it surged the most in more than a month,
amid Britain's aggressive vaccination programme. 
    The dollar index was little changed at 90.584 early
in the Asian session, after a 0.4% decline overnight cut short a
two-day winning streak. For the week, the gauge is now back to
more or less break-even. 
    The string of soft labour data is weighing on the dollar
even as other indicators have shown resilience, and as President
Joe Biden's pandemic relief efforts take shape, including a
proposed $1.9 trillion spending package.
    "The prospect of a massive U.S. fiscal stimulus plus a
successful vaccine roll-out are solid arguments to bet on a U.S.
recovery this year," Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign exchange
strategist at National Australia Bank in Sydney, wrote in a
client note.
    "But the overnight jobless claims data serve as a reminder
of the unevenness of the recovery so far."
    Sterling was mostly flat at $1.3965 on Friday
following a 0.8% jump in the previous session, when it rose as
high as $1.3986 for the first time since April 2018.
    The euro was little changed at $1.2089 after
rising 0.4% overnight.
    The dollar bought 105.695 yen, little changed
following a two-day retreat from the five-month high of 106.225
reached Wednesday.
    In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin continued to hover
around $51,500, consolidating after hitting a record $52,640 on
Wednesday in a rally fuelled by endorsements from Tesla Inc
 and others. It has risen about 78% so far in 2021,
after more than quadrupling last year.
    Smaller rival ethereum rose to a record $1,951.89
on Friday, just pipping the previous day's high. It has surged
some 162% this year.    
    On Thursday, chipmaker Nvidia Corp announced a new
processor designed specifically for mining ethereum.
    
========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 101 GMT
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar                  $1.2098        $1.2091     +0.05%         -0.99%      +1.2098     +1.2087
 Dollar/Yen                   105.6500       105.6600    +0.07%         +2.36%      +105.7270   +105.7300
 Euro/Yen                     127.82         127.79      +0.02%         +0.71%      +127.8500   +127.7500
 Dollar/Swiss                 0.8957         0.8960      +0.01%         +1.29%      +0.8964     +0.8958
 Sterling/Dollar              1.3973         1.3972      +0.00%         +2.27%      +1.3973     +1.3965
 Dollar/Canadian              1.2671         1.2678      -0.04%         -0.48%      +1.2681     +1.2673
 Aussie/Dollar                0.7774         0.7769      +0.08%         +1.07%      +0.7775     +0.7766
 NZ                           0.7220         0.7220      +0.01%         +0.56%      +0.7224     +0.7213
 Dollar/Dollar All spots
Tokyo spots
Europe spots 
Volatilities 
Tokyo Forex market info from BOJ 

    
 (Reporting by Kevin Buckland; Editing by Christopher Cushing)
  
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