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U.S. dollar tumbles amid ECB tapering speculation

2018-01-13 16:01

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The U.S. dollar dropped against other major currencies on Friday as investors speculated that the European Central Bank (ECB) policymakers are preparing to reduce their vast monetary stimulus program.

The minutes from the ECB's December meeting showed that the central bank could shift away from its ultra-loose monetary policy efforts this year, according to Market Watch.

Reconsideration could take place if the eurozone economy continues to expand and if inflation keeps rising toward the bank's target around 2 percent, the minutes said.

Analysts said that the latest ECB minutes were a bit on the hawkish side and gave some support to the euro.

On the economic front, the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers increased 0.1 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, in with market estimates, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday.

Meanwhile, advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for December 2017 came in at 495.4 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 0.4 percent from the previous month, missing market consensus of 0.5 percent, the Commerce Department announced Friday.

"December retail sales rose 0.4%, a tenth less than expected, but this was a stronger than expected report thanks to generous upward revisions. Excluding autos and gas, retail sales posted the biggest quarterly increase in 12 years," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, in a note.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, decreased 0.94 percent at 90.989 in late trading.

In late New York trading, the euro rose to 1.2182 dollars from 1.2038 dollars in the previous session, and the British pound gained to 1.3734 dollars from 1.3534 U.S. dollars in the previous session. The Australian dollar climbed to 0.7912 dollar from 0.7893 dollar.

The U.S. dollar bought 111.05 Japanese yen, lower than 111.11 yen of the previous session. The U.S. dollar fell to 0.9686 Swiss franc from 0.9761 Swiss francs, and it moved down to 1.2486 Canadian dollars from 1.2527 Canadian dollars.
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