Forex - Dollar dips as market digests Yellen comments, soft U.S. data

A A A - The dollar traded lower against most major currencies on Friday after industrial production data revealed activity at U.S. factories, mines and utilities was weaker in October than anticipated, while Federal Reserve Chair Nominee Janet Yellen's dovish Thursday testimony before Congress also weighed on the greenback.

In U.S. trading on Thursday, EUR/USD was up 0.25% at 1.3492.

The Federal Reserve reported earlier that U.S. Industrial production edged down 0.1% in October after having increased 0.7% in September.

Analysts were expecting a 0.2% expansion, and the surprise contraction weakened the dollar by fanning sentiments the Fed won't scale back its USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases until early 2014.

Bond purchases aim to spur recovery by driving down long-term interest rates, weakening the dollar in the process.

On Thursday, Fed Chair Nominee Janet Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee that while the economy is on the mend, inflation and unemployment rates have room to move closer to Fed comfort zones, which markets interpreted as a sign the U.S. central bank wants to see consistent improvements to economic indicators before winding down stimulus tools.

Her comments put to rest lingering expectations that the Fed may announce plans to scale back stimulus tools at its December meeting.

Also in the U.S., the Federal Reserve of Bank of New York said its manufacturing activity index declined to -2.21 in November from 1.52 in October, defying expectations for a rise to 5.00, which added to the dollar's decline.

A separate report showed that U.S. import prices fell 0.7% in October compared to expectations for a 0.4% decline after a downwardly revised 0.1% rise the previous month.

Meanwhile in the euro zone, official data released earlier revealed that consumer price inflation remained slipped 0.1% in October from September and rose 0.7% on year, both in line with expectations.

Core consumer price inflation, which is stripped of volatile food, energy, alcohol and tobacco items, came in unchanged from September and rose 0.8% from a year earlier, also in line with market expectations.

The greenback was down against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.31% at 1.6115.

The dollar was up against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.18% at 100.21, and down against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF down 0.17% at 0.9148.

The dollar was down against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD down 0.20% at 1.0446, AUD/USD up 0.57% at 0.9370 and NZD/USD trading up 0.77% at 0.8338.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.18% at 80.87. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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