The pound extended recent gains to hit its strongest level since February 2020 against the euro on Friday, but it fell versus the dollar after better-than-expected U.S. payrolls data boosted the U.S. currency.

The pound has been a strong performer in recent weeks as COVID-19 cases, while still high, have fallen and high vaccination rates have allowed the British government to lift most social-distancing rules. At 1456 GMT, the sterling was on track for a 0.6% weekly gain versus the euro – its third consecutive weekly rise and the biggest since May. It was up 0.2% on the day at 84.79 pence per euro, having hit 84.7 earlier in the session – the pound’s strongest since February 2020.

Versus the dollar, it was down 0.4% at $1.3866, set to end the week slightly lower. This drop was less severe than other risk-sensitive currencies – such as the Australian and New Zealand dollars – which were also hurt by the dollar’s…

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