|12-24-2014, 04:16 PM||#1|
U.S. dollar takes a breather after GDP-driven rally
The U.S. dollar eased a little against major currencies on Wednesday, but held around nine-year highs after a strong rally on Tuesday after data showed the U.S. economy expanded at the fastest pace in 11 years.
The U.S. economy grew at a robust 5.0% in the third quarter, the largest expansion since the third quarter of 2003. Separate data also showed a gauge of consumer sentiment jumped this month to its highest level in around 8 years.
That data reignited bets of an increase in interest rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve, which only last week provided an upbeat evaluation of the economy.
The dollar then received a push to levels not seen since early 2006, while U.S. 2-year Treasury yields jumped to four-year highs.
Trading volumes were subdued ahead of the Christmas holiday, but the U.S. dollar seems to have firmed its footing going into the New Year.
The Dollar Index, which tracks the value of the U.S. dollar against a basket of major currencies, was up 12% for the year, heading to end the best year in almost a decade.
Even at the start of 2015, the trend is expected to remain, as investors should find little appeal in other majors such as the euro or the yen, considering the divergence in economic growth and the outlook for central bank policies.
The Dollar Index was last up 0.23% at 89.91. As of 10:40 GMT
The euro edged higher by 0.2%, but was still around its lowest in 28 months.
The dollar retreated slightly against the Japanese yen and the pound.
The economic agenda forward on is light, but data due for release today by the Labor Department should show more clues to the improvement of the labor sector. Jobless claims data is due at 13:30 GMT
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