Dollar index slips lower on profit-taking, still close to 12-year peak

Investing.com –

Investing.com – The dollar slipped lower against the other major currencies on Monday, as investors locked in gains from the greenback’s recent rally to fresh 12-year highs while trading volumes were expected to remain thin with U.S. markets closed for a national holiday.

EUR/USD rose 0.30% to 1.1602, pulling away from Friday’s 11-year lows of 1.1459.

The euro remained under pressure amid mounting expectations that the European Central Bank will launch a government bond-buying program at its meeting on Thursday, in a bid to stave off the threat of deflation in the euro area.

An interim ruling last Wednesday, which is likely to be accepted by the European Court of Justice, said the ECB was free to pursue a bond purchasing program without legal challenge.

Last Thursday, the Swiss National Bank abandoned its three-year old 1.20 per euro exchange rate cap in a shock move, signaling that it expects the ECB to act this week.

The dollar and the euro continued to strenghten against the Swiss franc, after plummeting to multi-year lows last Thursday. USD/CHF climbed 0.82% to 0.8668, while EUR/CHF rallied 1.12% to trade at 1.0060.

Earlier Monday, official data showed that Swiss producer price inflation fell 0.4% last month, compared to expectations for a 0.6% decline, after a 0.7% drop in November.

The dollar slipped lower against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.13% to 117.32, while GBP/USD held steady at 1.5158.

The safe haven yen remained supported on Monday as last week’s market volatility meant that investors remained risk adverse.

The commodity-linked currencies were mixed. AUD/USD fell 0.26% to 0.8205 and NZD/USD was almost unchanged at 0.7797. USD/CAD eased 0.08% to trade at 1.1965, not far from Friday’s more than five-year high of 1.2046.

Also Monday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that new motor vehicle sales increased by 3.0% in December, after a 0.6% fall the previous month.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.26% to 92.81, close to Friday’s fresh 12-year high of 93.56.

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