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Forex - Dollar gains on soft data, renewed talk of end of Fed stimulus

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Shutterstock photo - The dollar rose against most major currencies on Friday after lackluster data in the U.S. and Europe sent investors seeking safe-haven dollar positions.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said earlier this week that dollar-weakening stimulus programs will stay in place for the foreseeable future, though investors sought out the dollar on sentiments that ultra-loose monetary policies will still wind down this year and end in 2014.

Stimulus programs such as the Fed's monthly USD85 billion bond-buying program weaken the dollar to spur recovery.

In U.S. trading on Friday, EUR/USD was down 0.27% at 1.3060.

Euro zone industrial production fell 0.3% in May, according to official data, surpassing market calls for a 0.2% decline after a 0.5% increase the previous month.

The numbers pressured the euro lower, as the European Central Bank has suggested that interest rates may remain at their currently low levels or possible fall even further, which gave the dollar room to rise.

Meanwhile in the U.S. the preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to 83.9 in July from 84.1 in June, defying expectations for a rise to 85.0.

Separately, the U.S. Department of Labor said producer price inflation rose 0.8% in June, beating expectations for a 0.5% gain and above a 0.5% increase the previous month.

The core producer price index, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.2% last month compared to expectations for a 0.1% increase, beating a 0.1% rise in May.

While Fed Chairman Bernanke has said that stimulus programs will remain in place for the foreseeable future, other U.S. central bankers said such policies should end this year to ensure price stability.

"The first step is to wind down our asset purchases by the end of the year in a gradual and predictable manner," Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser said earlier Friday.

"As I said, I see little if any benefit from these purchases, and growing costs."

The greenback, meanwhile, was up against the pound, with GBP/USD trading down 0.54% at 1.5102.

The dollar was up against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.43% at 99.40, and down against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF trading down 0.07% at 0.9463.

The dollar was up against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD up 0.23% at 1.0392, AUD/USD down 1.40% at 0.9060 and NZD/USD trading down 0.80% at 0.7790.

The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.32% at 83.15.

On Friday, the U.S. will release official data on producer price inflation as well as preliminary data from the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan on consumer sentiment. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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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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