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Dollar falls on poor US industrial data

[NEW YORK] A poor report on US industrial orders put a pause in the dollar's climb against the euro, pushing it back as far as the US$1.14 per-euro line before rebounding slightly.

US durable goods orders unexpectedly tumbled 3.4 per cent in December, a data point that reminded that the US economy still has weak spots, especially its exposure to the global economic slowdown.

The greenback lost more than a penny during the day, trading at US$1.1380 per euro at 2200 GMT. On Monday the dollar rose to US$1.1101 per euro before slipping back.

The euro's modest strength came amid a building standoff between the new anti-austerity government in Greece and the country's creditors.

Both sides appeared to gird for a fight Tuesday, with northern European and EU leaders and officials warning new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras not to seek any debt writeoff or other radical change to the country's massive rescue program.

"If the continuation of the program of aid for Greece is called into question... Greek banks would lose access to central bank funds," Joachim Nagel, a member of the Bundesbank's executive board, warned in a Handelsblatt interview.

Traders now have their eyes both on the rollout of the Greek government's stance in the coming talks, and also on the Federal Reserve's updated policy statement at the end of its meeting on Wednesday.

The Fed is not expected to make any significant decisions, but could refine its signals for a planned rate hike sometime later this year.

"Is the greenback vulnerable to losing more ground? It would be if the Fed's statement... should attempt to rein in dollar appreciation by signaling officials may wait longer than around midyear to boost interest rates," said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions.