Politics
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FOREX-Dollar drifts higher from three-week low, but confined to ranges

* Powell repeats testimony before U.S. House

* U.S. economic data mixed, dollar impact muted

* U.S' Lighthizer says U.S-China trade issues 'too serious'

* Sterling scales $1.33 on Brexit delay bets

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh (Recasts, adds new comment, U.S. Trade Representative'sremarks, FX table, changes byline, dateline; previous LONDON)

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) - The dollar rose from athree-week low on Wednesday but traded within narrow ranges asinvestors showed no inclination to make big bets a day afterFederal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized patience onraising U.S. interest rates.

The greenback's outlook, however, remained negative as moneymarkets have ruled out any more rate hikes for the remainder ofthe year with an 80-percent probability of a rate cut by early2020.

Powell was on the second day of his two-day appearance inthe U.S. Congress. He repeated the testimony delivered to aSenate panel on Tuesday, in which he said the Fed will remain"patient" in deciding on further interest rate hikes.

"The tone of the Fed doesn't give much impetus for thedollar to outperform. Overall, the dollar has been mostlyrangebound," said Mazen Issa, senior FX strategist, at TDSecurities in New York.

The dollar, however, benefited modestly from some safe-havenbids after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said U.S.issues with China are "too serious" to be resolved. He addedthat promises from Beijing to purchase more U.S. goods and anydeal between the two countries must include a way to ensurecommitments are met.

Lighthizer made the remarks in a Congressional hearing onWednesday.

In late morning trading, the dollar index, a measure of theU.S. currency's value, was up 0.1 percent at 96.058 .DXY ,after earlier falling to a three-week low.

The euro was little changed against the dollar at $1.1388EUR= , while the dollar rose 0.2 percent versus the yen to110.825 JPY= .

U.S. economic data were mixed overall on Wednesday, backingexpectations that the Fed will be on hold throughout the year.

The safe-haven yen and Swiss franc earlier gained afterPakistan shot down two Indian jets, sending investors out ofriskier markets and into safer assets.

The Japanese and Swiss currencies both tend to appreciateduring bouts of political and economic uncertainty. Pakistansaid it downed the planes a day after Indian warplanes struckinside its territory for the first time since a war in 1971.

Elsewhere, investors watched sterling closely as it roseabove $1.33GBP= for the first time in five months.

The pound rallied on Tuesday after British Prime MinisterTheresa May offered lawmakers the chance to vote on delayingBrexit, raising the chance of avoiding a chaotic no-dealdeparture from the European Union.

========================================================

Currency bid prices at 10:41AM (1541 GMT) Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change

Session Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.1387$1.1385 +0.02% -0.72% +1.1404 +1.1370 Dollar/Yen JPY= 110.8300 110.5700 +0.24% +0.52% +110.8700 +110.3600 Euro/Yen EURJPY= 126.22 125.93 +0.23% +0.00% +126.2400 +125.5400 Dollar/Swiss CHF= 0.9988 0.9996 -0.08% +1.77% +1.0012 +0.9963 Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.3321 1.3250 +0.54% +4.42% +1.3336 +1.3234 Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.3142 1.3166 -0.18% -3.63% +1.3177 +1.3118 Australian/Doll AUD= 0.7137 0.7186 -0.68% +1.25% +0.7198 +0.7128 ar Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.1374 1.1385 -0.10% +1.07% +1.1393 +1.1353 Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.8547 0.8593 -0.54% -4.86% +0.8596 +0.8540 NZ NZD= 0.6843 0.6886 -0.62% +1.88% +0.6901 +0.6837 Dollar/Dollar Dollar/Norway NOK= 8.5252 8.5601 -0.41% -1.31% +8.5700 +8.5218 Euro/Norway EURNOK= 9.7092 9.7508 -0.43% -1.99% +9.7649 +9.7036 Dollar/Sweden SEK= 9.2510 9.2813 -0.35% +3.20% +9.2969 +9.2479 Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 10.5353 10.5720 -0.35% +2.64% +10.5780 +10.5320

gertrude.chavez@thomsonreuters.com gertrude.chavez.reuters.com@reuters.net


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