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Here is what you need to know on Wednesday, December 23:

Once again, Brexit headlines dominated financial markets. Hopes that the EU and the UK could reach a deal on fisheries got smashed during the US afternoon, as the EU´s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told the EU’s 27 envoys to Brussels that fisheries remain the stumbling block in trade talks with the UK. GBP/USD trades in the 1.3350 price zone

The dollar edged higher during US trading hours against most of its major rivals, although remained below Monday’s highs. The EUR/USD pair settled around 1.2250, its comfort zone.

Late on Monday, the US Congress passed an almost $900 billion covid-relief package, alongside a funding bill for a year. The House approved the measure and it now needs to be signed by US President Donald Trump. Once signed, it will allow $600 checks to go out.

 The market’s mood was also dented by the latest coronavirus developments, as a new strain detected in the UK spurred panic and resulted in the closed borders between the kingdom and Europe. Authorities keep reassuring that vaccines would work against this strain.

Gold prices extended their latest decline, with spot down to $1,862 a troy ounce. Crude oil prices remained stable, and WTI closed the day at $47.00 a barrel.

Market conditions are thinner ahead of the Christmas holiday.

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