FOREX-Dollar hovers near 2-year high, U.S. GDP awaited

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* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

* Dollar index hits highest since May 2017

* Dollar awaits U.S. GDP to cap off bullish week

TOKYO, April 26 (Reuters) - The dollar hovered near atwo-year high against its peers on Friday, supported by strongU.S. capital goods orders and awaiting first-quarter GDP datawhich could further reinforce the greenback's bullish standing.

The dollar index versus a basket of six major currencies .DXY stood at 98.128 after advancing to 98.322 on Thursday,its highest since May 2017.

Data on Thursday showed new orders for U.S.-made capitalgoods increased by the most in eight months in March. Thatfollows other recent U.S. data that show strength in retailsales and exports which have eased concerns of the world'sbiggest economy sharply slowing. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2260N5

The markets are watching first-quarter U.S. gross domesticproduct data due later on Friday (1230 GMT) for signs of whetherthe United States remains stronger than other leading economies.

According to a Reuters survey of economists, GDP probablyincreased at a 2.0 percent annualized rate in the quarter. Theeconomy grew at a 2.2 percent pace in the October-Decemberperiod.

"We expect the GDP data to underline steady economicrecovery. Differences in economic fundamentals is a key driverfor currencies now that the Fed - and more recently the Swedishand Japanese central banks - have adopted a dovish stance," saidShin Kadota, senior strategist at Barclays in Tokyo.

Sweden's central bank said on Thursday that recent weakinflationary pressures meant an interest rate hike would comeslightly later than it had planned, sending the Swedish crown SEK=D3 to a 17-year low. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2272LR

In a move to dispel any doubt over its commitment toultra-loose policies, the Bank of Japan on Thursday put a timeframe on its forward guidance for the first time by tellinginvestors that it would keep interest rates at super-low levelsfor at least one more year. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N2270H5

The euro was a touch higher at $1.1139EUR= but withinreach of $1.1117, its lowest level since June 2017 plumbed onThursday.

The single currency has shed nearly 1 percent against thedollar this week, weighed by worries about the health of theeuro zone economy.

The dollar was down 0.1 percent at 111.52 yenJPY= aftershedding 0.5 percent overnight.

The Australian dollar was steady at $0.7018AUD=D4 afterending Thursday little changed.

The Aussie has lost roughly 2 percent this week, duringwhich it sank to a near four-month trough as soft domesticinflation data boosted the prospect of a rate cut by the ReserveBank of Australia. (Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Kim Coghill) ((shinichi.saoshiro@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging:shinichi.saoshiro.reuters.com@reuters.net+813-6441-1774))

This article appears in: Politics , Stocks , World Markets
Referenced Symbols: EUR

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