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Dollar steady to higher vs. rivals in subdued trade

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Shutterstock photo - The dollar was steady to higher against the other major currencies in subdued trade on Friday, as investors remained cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve's highly anticipated policy meeting next week.

During European morning trade, EUR/USD eased 0.03% to 1.3751.

The greenback gained ground on Thursday after the U.S. Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose 0.7% in November, above expectations for a 0.6% increase. Core retail sales rose 0.4%, above forecasts for a 0.2% increase.

Separately, the Department of Labor said the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose to a two month high of 368,000, compared to expectations for an increase to 320,000 from the previous week's revised total of 300,000.

The data did little to alter expectations that the Fed could begin tapering its USD85 billion a month asset purchase program at its policy meeting scheduled for December 17-18.

Meanwhile, demand for the euro remained mildy supported as expectations for further monetary easing by the European Central Bank dimmed after the bank left monetary policy unchanged at its meeting this month, following a surprise rate cut in November.

The pound edged lower against the dollar, with GBP/USD up 0.16% to 1.6362.

Elsewhere, the greenback was higher against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.12% to 103.50 and steady against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF dipping 0.01% to 0.8891.

In Switzerland, official data earlier showed that producer price inflation fell 0.1% in November, less than the expected 0.2% decline, after a 0.4% drop the previous month.

On a yearly basis, Swiss producer price inflation fell 0.4% last month, compared to expectations for a 0.5% decline.

The greenback was broadly higher against the Australian, New Zealand and Canadian dollars, with AUD/USD down 0.08% to 0.8930, NZD/USD slipping 0.27% to 0.8227 and USD/CAD up 0.17% to 1.0657.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.08% to 80.24.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on producer price inflation. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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