U.S. Dollar Fluctuates as Demand for High Yields Ebbs

By Daniel Kruger Features Dow Jones Newswires

The U.S. dollar fluctuated as solid core inflation data boosted the currency even as it faced pressure from weaker stock prices.

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The Wall Street Journal Dollar Index, which measures the currency against a basket of 16 others, was recently down less than 0.1% at 87.35, below Tuesday's 87.38.

The consumer-price index, measuring what Americans pay for everything from cars to phone service, advanced 0.1% in October from a month earlier, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, so-called core prices increased 0.2%. Both readings matched expectations of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

From a year earlier, consumer prices rose 2%, the first easing of year-over-year gains since June. When excluding food and energy, prices rose 1.8% from a year earlier.

Early Wednesday, the dollar hit its lowest level in more than three weeks as U.S. stocks fell, with major indexes on track for their fourth day of declines in the past five sessions. Investors remain uncertain about the prospect for the Republican tax cut package, and some have bought the euro after data signaled continued economic expansion in that region.

Investors have solidified bets that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at its December meeting. The central bank had penciled in a rate increase by the end of 2017, followed by three more in 2018, when officials met in September.

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"The markets have been catching up to the Fed's dots, but there are a lot of unknowns about fiscal policy," said Vassili Serebriakov, a currency strategist with Credit Agricole.

The U.S. dollar climbed against the Japanese yen, where expectations call for monetary policy to remain easy. The dollar was little changed against the euro.

While the Fed and the ECB are on course to tighten policy, investors perceive a chance that the Bank of Japan may become more dovish, said Shahab Jalinoos, a currency strategist at Credit Suisse Group AG.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 15, 2017 13:43 ET (18:43 GMT)