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Dollar consolidates as bulls await Yellen speech

Dollar consolidates as bulls await Yellen speech

The dollar stayed in consolidation mode early on Friday after its rally to two-month highs ran out of steam with bulls looking for fresh guidance from the head of the U.S. central bank.

The dollar index .DXY last stood at 95.158, having been as low as 94.938 overnight, retreating from a peak of 95.661 set on Wednesday.

It is still up 2.2 percent this month, among the top performing currencies, after a string of Federal Reserve officials bolstered expectations for a hike in interest rates as early as next month.

Dollar bulls are now keen to hear from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who is due to speak at an event hosted by the Harvard University Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at 1715 GMT.

Also closely watched is the second estimate of the March quarter U.S. gross domestic product. Analysts polled by Reuters expect to see an upgrade of the earlier reading, which showed the economy grew at its slowest pace in two years. ECONUS

Traders said some caution ahead of comments from Yellen was understandable.

“Markets have moved a lot recently and whilst activity data has improved and interest rate expectations have risen, more news is now needed to help shape the markets’ expectations over a possible June/July Fed rate hike,” analysts at ANZ wrote in a note to clients.

The euro was back near $1.1200 EUR=, pulling away from a two-month trough of $1.1129.

The greenback eased to 109.71 against the yenJPY=, while the euro was in familiar territory at 122.75 EURJPY=R.

Both the dollar and the euro, however, stayed well above their recent respective troughs of 105.55 and 121.48 yen.

The constant threat from Japanese officials to weaken the yen has discouraged investors from buying the currency.

Commodity currencies were enjoying a bit of a reprieve with the dollar rally taking a pause. The Australian dollar popped back above 72 U.S. cents AUD=D4, off a near three-month trough of $0.7145 set on Tuesday.

Barring any major surprises from Yellen and U.S. GDP, traders expect more consolidation in the major currencies as markets in the United States and Britain wind down for a long weekend with public holidays on Monday.

(Reporting by Ian Chua; Editing by Eric Meijer)

Courtesy : reuters.com



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