January 29, 2019 / 3:34 PM / 24 days ago

FOREX-Sterling rises before Brexit votes, dollar flat

    * Traders await clues on Fed's stance on balance sheet
    * Criminal charges against Huawei cloud U.S-China trade
talks
    * UK parliament to vote on Brexit amendments at 2 p.m. (1900
GMT)
    * Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments;
new bline, changes dateline, previous LONDON)
    By Richard Leong
    NEW YORK, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Sterling rose on Tuesday before
British lawmakers were scheduled to vote on whether to take a
proposal off the table to leave the European Union without a
deal, while the U.S. dollar was little changed ahead of a
Federal Reserve two-year policy meeting.
    The euro, yen and other major currencies were locked in
narrow trading ranges, with traders reluctant to take big
positions due to uncertainty over the U.K. parliamentary vote.
There were also clues from the U.S. central bank that it might
pause from its current rate-hike campaign.
    Investors expect the Fed to adopt a more cautious stance,
pressured by signs of a peak in U.S. corporate earnings and the
threat of an economic slowdown both at home and globally.
    Fed policy makers convene Tuesday and are expected to
release a policy statement on Wednesday at 2 p.m. (1900 GMT),
followed by a press conference from Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
    "You are not going to see any breakout in currencies at this
point," said Mark Heppenstall, chief investment officer at Penn
Mutual Asset Management at Horsham, Pennsylvania.
    Investors were also jittery after U.S. officials announced
criminal charges against China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.
for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. This ratcheted up
tensions between Washington and Beijing before trade talks this
week.
    At 10:01 a.m. (1501 GMT), an index that tracks the dollar
against a basket of currencies was little changed at
95.804. It touched a two-week low during the session.
    The yuan was steady at 6.753 per dollar, scaling back from
Monday when it reached its strongest level since July.
    The pound edged up 0.14 percent at 
$1.3174, hovering below its highest level since mid-October hit 
last week.
    The euro slipped 0.14 percent at 86.715 pence,
and little changed at $1.1426.   
    After rejection of Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit
proposal this month, other lawmakers offered amendments. One
would postpone the March 29 Brexit deadline if a deal with the
European Union is not approved by Feb 26.
    Traders are betting parliament will not pull out of the EU
without terms on trade and business activities, fearing such a
"no-deal Brexit" could severely disrupt the economy.
    Voting on the amendments will begin at 2 p.m. (1900 GMT).

========================================================
    Currency bid prices at 9:59AM (1459 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
                                              Session                                           
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1424        $1.1433     -0.08%         -0.39%      +1.1451     +1.1414
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        109.4100       109.3400    +0.06%         -0.77%      +109.5300   +109.1300
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     125.01         124.93      +0.06%         -0.94%      +125.2400   +124.6900
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9946         0.9914      +0.32%         +1.35%      +0.9949     +0.9908
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.3171         1.3162      +0.07%         +3.26%      +1.3198     +1.3130
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3253         1.3262      -0.07%         -2.82%      +1.3278     +1.3244
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7150         0.7165      -0.21%         +1.43%      +0.7176     +0.7139
 ar                                                                                             
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.1366         1.1333      +0.29%         +0.97%      +1.1366     +1.1333
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8671         0.8681      -0.12%         -3.48%      +0.8710     +0.8657
 NZ               NZD=        0.6829         0.6828      +0.01%         +1.67%      +0.6861     +0.6816
 Dollar/Dollar                                                                                  
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.4892         8.5107      -0.25%         -1.73%      +8.5190     +8.4771
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.6984         9.7275      -0.30%         -2.10%      +9.7358     +9.6983
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.0640         9.0515      +0.09%         +1.12%      +9.0749     +9.0365
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.3575        10.3478     +0.09%         +0.91%      +10.3676    +10.3440
 
    
 (Addition reporting by Saikat Chatterjee in LONDON
Editing by David Gregorio)
  
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