FOREX-Dollar flat, set to extend monthly winning streak

* Dollar index on track to extend winning monthly streak

* Euro near 1-month low vs dollar, rebounds from 3-week low vs yen

* Greenback cuts losses as Q4 GDP revised down less than expected

* Swedish crown rises to one-month high after GDP data (Updates market action)

By Richard Leong

NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) – The dollar index ended little changed on Friday as it stayed on track for a record eighth month of gains on improving U.S. data and comments from Federal Reserve officials that bolstered bets for a interest rate rise later this year.

This measure of the greenback against the euro, yen and four other currencies was set to mark its longest streak of monthly gains since the greenback was floated as a fiat currency in 1971. February’s gain of about 0.52 percent, however, was the smallest of the eight months.

The dollar overcame earlier month-end selling that followed a rally on Thursday, as more evidence suggested the U.S. economy will expand in the coming months.

“The trend is still in place to support the dollar,” said Eric Viloria, currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in New York.

The dollar index initially eased from a one-month high set on Thursday, before ending the day flat at 95.295.

The greenback hovered near a one-month peak versus the euro, last up 0.08 percent at $ 1.1188. It firmed 0.24 percent against the yen at 119.700 yen.

The euro rebounded from a three-week low versus the yen, last up 0.2 percent at 134.015 yen.

The government said on Friday it downgraded fourth-quarter U.S. gross domestic product growth to a 2.2 percent annual pace from an initial estimate of 2.6 percent. Economists polled by Reuters forecast a revision down to 2.1 percent.

The better-than-expected reading coincided with encouraging U.S. pending home sales and consumer sentiment figures, though a surprise drop in a private index on U.S. Midwest business activity to its weakest since July 2009 revived some worries about slowing U.S. growth.

Amid this backdrop of moderate economic expansion, the Federal Reserve has shown it would be “patient” on ending its near-zero interest rate policy. Fed Chair Janet Yellen reiterated this stance at her semiannual testimony before Congress this week.

Other top U.S. central bank officials signaled the Fed’s path towards normalizing monetary policy remains on track for later this year, but the pace of rate increases will likely be gradual as inflation has been stuck below the Fed’s 2 percent target.

Among other currencies, the Swedish crown rose to a one-month high of 9.3250 crowns per euro after data showed the economy grew at its fastest pace in more than three years in the fourth quarter. The strong crown has complicated Riksbank’s effort to combat deflation. It was last down 0.8 percent at 9.3400 crowns per euro in late U.S. trading.

(Additional reporting by Anirban Nag in London; Masayuki Kitano in Tokyo; Editing by Catherine Evans and Meredith Mazzilli)

Dollar Index

dollarindex.org@privydomain.com

You may also like...

Discussion on FOREX-Dollar flat, set to extend monthly winning streak