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Forex - Pound higher vs. dollar on U.S. debt deal optimism

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Shutterstock photo - " The pound was higher against the dollar on Wednesday as markets remained hopeful that a deal to reopen the U.S. government and raise the debt ceiling before the Thursday deadline was close.

GBP/USD hit 1.6058 during European afternoon trade, the highest since October 9; the pair subsequently consolidated at 1.6033, gaining 0.23%.

Cable was likely to find support at 1.5913, Tuesday's low and resistance at 1.6120, the high of October 9.

Senate leaders were to resume negotiations aimed a breaking the impasse later Wednesday, after a last minute deal put forward by House Republicans collapsed.

Ratings agency Fitch placed its triple-A rating on the U.S. on "rating watch negative" on Tuesday, saying the political deadlock has undermined confidence in U.S. economic policy.

The U.S. Treasury has said that if an agreement to raise the USD16.7 trillion debt ceiling is not struck ahead of Thursday's deadline, the U.S. will face an unprecedented sovereign debt default.

Sterling touched session highs against the dollar earlier after data showed that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the U.K. posted the largest decline since June 1997 in September.

The Office for National Statistics said that the U.K. claimant count fell by 41,700 in September, outstripping expectations for a decline of 25,000 people.

The previous month's figure was revised to a drop of 41,600 people from a previously reported decrease of 32,600.

The rate of unemployment held steady at 7.7% in August, in line with expectations and unchanged from July.

The ONS said the average earnings index rose 0.7% in August, below expectations for a 1% increase, after rising by 1.1% in the previous month.

Elsewhere, the pound was little changed against the euro, with EUR/GBP inching up 0.02% to 0.8456.

In the euro zone, data released on Wednesday showed that the annual rate of consumer inflation in the euro zone was unchanged from a preliminary estimate of 1.1% in September.

A separate report showed that the euro zone's trade surplus widened to EUR12.3 billion in August from EUR11 billion in April, broadly in line with forecasts. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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