August 7, 2018 / 1:11 AM / 10 months ago

FOREX-Pound frail on Brexit fears, dollar steady

* Pound pressured by worries of possible ‘hard’ Brexit

* Dollar supported by festering international trade tensions

* Turkish lira firms from record-low hit overnight

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - The pound remained weak on Tuesday after dropping to an 11-month low against the dollar overnight on worries over a ‘hard’ Brexit from the European Union, while simmering U.S.-China trade tensions helped support the greenback.

Comments from officials about a no-deal Brexit stoked fears Britain would crash out of the EU next year without securing a trade agreement.

Sterling sank as far as $1.2920 overnight, its lowest since early-September last year, before making up some losses. It last stood at $1.2946.

The dollar index against a broad basket of currencies traded at 95.345 on Tuesday, not far from a more-than-one-year high of 95.652 reached on July 19.

Some analysts see trade tensions supporting the U.S. dollar as the nation’s economy is better placed to handle protectionism than emerging markets, and as tariffs may narrow the U.S. trade deficit.

“There is still a lot of uncertainty on the tariffs. We don’t know exactly how much will be implemented and how bad it can get,” said Shinichiro Kadota, senior FX and rates strategist at Barclays in Tokyo.

“If U.S. economic growth starts to slow down because of tariffs or because past tax-cut effects are waning, then I think the economic performance could fade, which could also lead to fading dollar strength.”

The euro stayed fragile after dipping to a five-week low of $1.1530 overnight, as German industrial orders fell more than expected in June, posting their steepest monthly drop in well over a year. It last traded a touch higher at $1.1558.

The dollar edged down 0.1 percent to 111.30 yen after ticking up slightly overnight.

The Turkish lira firmed against the dollar after broadcaster CNN Turk, citing diplomatic sources, reported that a delegation of Turkish officials will head to Washington in two days to discuss an ongoing row between the two NATO allies.

The currency was trading at 5.2630 against the dollar at 0015 GMT on Tuesday.

It had plunged about 5.5 percent to a record low of 5.4250 overnight after the Trump administration announced late on Friday that it was reviewing Turkey’s duty-free access to U.S. markets.

Editing by Joseph Radford

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