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US dollar largely holds gains as US inflation data awaited

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The US dollar eased slightly on Monday, but clung to most of its gains following Friday's robust US jobs report, as investors await inflation data this week that may signal a turnaround in the currency's weakness this year.

[NEW YORK] The US dollar eased slightly on Monday, but clung to most of its gains following Friday's robust US jobs report, as investors await inflation data this week that may signal a turnaround in the currency's weakness this year.

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major rival currencies, was down 0.1 per cent to 93.449.

The index rose 0.76 per cent on Friday as strong employment data bolstered the case for further monetary policy tightening by the US Federal Reserve.

"For the most part, the US dollar is holding onto Friday's gains," said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management in New York.

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"The only thing holding the dollar back from seeing further gains are yields," she said.

US Treasury yields were flat to slightly lower in choppy trading on Monday after Friday's stronger-than-expected US non-farm payrolls report, with no real influences ahead of government bond and corporate supply this week.

The greenback reacted little to comments on Monday from St Louis Fed President James Bullard and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari.

The Fed can leave interest rates where they are for now because inflation is not likely to rise much even if the US job market continues to improve, Mr Bullard said.

The greenback gained against the New Zealand dollar, the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar on Monday.

"We have a view that the US dollar is due for some mild corrective strength in the near-term and we see some confirming price action from some of the key G10 currency pairs," said Erik Nelson, currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in New York.

Despite Friday's boost, the US dollar index is down 8.6 per cent for the year.

US producer prices for July due on Thursday and consumer price index figures on Friday should confirm whether labour market strength is spilling over into inflation.

"There's certainly some wait-and-see behaviour today," Mr Nelson said.

Meanwhile, the euro shrugged off an unexpected fall in German industrial production in June and was up 0.19 per cent against the US dollar to US$1.179.

The British pound slipped to a 10-month low against the euro, as investors bet the Bank of England would keep interest rates at record lows for the coming months, while the European Central Bank moves towards tightening.

REUTERS

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