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Forex - Dollar gains as market braces for Fed stimulus taper

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Shutterstock photo - The dollar was mixed to higher against most major currencies on Friday in a quiet session marked by expectations for the Federal Reserve to announce plans to taper its USD85 billion in monthly asset purchases soon.

Wholesale pricing data that met market forecasts earlier cemented views the Fed will either announce plans to wind down bond purchases at a policy meeting next week or give a clear signal when such a move may occur, though profit taking sent the greenback into negative territory against some currencies.

Monthly asset purchases in place for a year now have weakened the dollar by depressing interest rates to spur on economic recovery.

In U.S. trading on Friday, EUR/USD was down 0.14% at 1.3735.

The Labor Department reported earlier that the U.S. producer price index fell 0.1% last month, in line with expectations, after a 0.2% decline in October.

Core producer price inflation, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.1% in November after a 0.2% increase the previous month, also in line with consensus forecasts.

Investors interpreted the data as another cue to prompt the Fed to begin tapering its USD85 billion a month asset purchase program at its Dec. 17-18 policy meeting or in early 2014.

Meanwhile in Europe, Eurostat, the statistical arm of the European Union, reported that employment fell by 0.8% in the euro area in the third quarter, in line with expectations.

The euro saw some demand as expectations for further monetary easing continued to wane after the European Central Bank left monetary policy unchanged at its meeting this month following a surprise rate cut in November.

The greenback was up against the pound, with GBP/USD down 0.34% at 1.6295.

The dollar was down against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.15% at 103.22, and up against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF up 0.08% at 0.8899.

The dollar was down against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD down 0.44% at 1.0593, AUD/USD up 0.29% at 0.8964 and NZD/USD trading up 0.21% at 0.8267.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.05% at 80.21. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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