Dollar edges up, traders eye US retail report

Sheets of one dollar bills run through the printing press at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on March 24, 2015 in Washington, DC.
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The dollar inched ahead on Tuesday, eroding its previous session's loss, helped by a rise in U.S. bond yields and expectations that a Federal Reserve interest rate hike may come as early as September.

The euro, which rose 1.5 percent against the dollar on Monday, was off 0.13 percent at $1.1276. The dollar also was up against sterling and the and was down against the yen.

Trading was choppy, as investors awaited a U.S. retail sales report on Thursday that could reinforce optimism about the economy generated by last Friday's unexpectedly strong 280,000 increase in jobs during May.

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"The consensus is that it will be a strong number," said Sireen Haraji, currency strategist at Mizuho in New York.

Forecasters expect U.S. retail sales for May to have risen 1.1 percent, according to a Reuters poll. Soft consumer spending in recent months is reported to worry Fed policymakers, who are weighing their first interest rate hike in nearly a decade.

U.S. Treasuries yields were higher, with the two-year yielding 0.7129 percent.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was last off 0.14 percent at 95.16, well below the high of 96.909 scaled on Friday when the U.S. jobs report was released.

The dollar declined on Monday, in part because of worries U.S. officials may be growing concerned about the economic fallout from a strong dollar.

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A media report quoted an unnamed French official as saying that President Barack Obama was not comfortable with a strong dollar. While the White House issued a swift denial, many investors used the report as an opportunity to pare long dollar positions.

Several analysts said dollar strength was a hot topic for discussion amongst policymakers in the United States, and that implied the risk of more verbal intervention.

Greece's drawn-out bailout talks kept investors wary. It has submitted alternative proposals to European creditors, a Greek government official said on Tuesday, but its deal with the European Union and IMF expires at the end of this month, and Athens must make heavy repayments by then that may be impossible without funds from the creditors.