* Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
* Graphic: Trade-weighted sterling since Brexit vote tmsnrt.rs/2hwV9Hv
By Joice Alves
LONDON, June 16 (Reuters) - The pound rose on Tuesday after hitting a two-week low in the previous session against the dollar as a combination of friendlier Brexit talks and better than feared job data helped the pound against a broadly weaker dollar.
Britain’s jobless rate unexpectedly held at 3.9% over the three months to April as firms turned to the government’s job retention scheme to keep employees on their books during a record slump in economic output because of the coronavirus lockdown.
The dollar weakened as the U.S. Federal Reserve said it planed to start on Tuesday its previously announced corporate bond-buying scheme and it launched its Main Street Lending Program for businesses.
This year, the pound has lost almost 5% against the dollar, but recovered 0.3% on Tuesday, touching $1.2645. Against the euro, the pound was up 0.2% at 89.63 pence .
Steen Jakobsen, Chief Economist at Saxo Bank said “positive comments” from Britain and the European Union following Brexit talks gave sterling a boost.
“UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU leaders suggest a more amicable situation than other recent comments,” Jakobsen said in a note to clients.
Leaders from Britain and the European Union agreed on Monday that talks on their future relationship should be stepped up, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggesting an agreement could be reached in July.
With a status-quo transition deal set to expire at the end of the year, Britain is seeking a free trade agreement with the EU, which it left on Jan. 31, but negotiators have so far made little progress.
This week, investors are also awaiting the Bank of England’s meeting on Thursday, when it is expected to announce a fresh increase of at least 100 billion pounds ($126 billion) in its bond-buying firepower.
BoE Governor Andrew Bailey said the British central bank had to be ready to do more to help the economy because of the risk of long-term damage caused by the coronavirus lockdown. (Editing by Barbara Lewis)