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Dollar bulls shake off weak US data, push greenback up

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The dollar gained marginally against major currencies on Monday as expectations for further stimulus this week from the European Central Bank drove the euro to its lowest since April.

Trading was subdued, with the dollar moving in tight ranges against most rivals early in the North American trading session. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major world currencies,rose 0.13 percent to 100.15 after touching a new 8-1/2-month high of 100.310 overnight.

The release of disappointing data on U.S. business sentiment and pending home sales failed to change the market's bullish dollar sentiment.


The main focus for markets this week will be a series of central bank meetings, chiefly the ECB on Thursday, when it is widely expected to cut interest rates on euro deposits and extend its quantitative easing program.

By contrast, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to raise U.S. rates for the first time in almost a decade later in December.

"The market's really kind of looking through the numbers that are coming out right now and more looking towards the end of the week and central bank discussions," said Douglas Borthwick, managing director at Chapdelaine Foreign Exchange in New York.

The University of Chicago's purchasing management index was more than five points below expectations, and U.S. pending home sales, which were expected to rise by 1 percent, increased by just 0.2 percent.

The euro was down 0.23 percent at $1.0568, near its session low of $1.0555.

Besides low volatility in the markets, trading volumes were particularly light, Borthwick said.

"We're coming to (central banks') decision time," he said, "and people either have their positions on or they're taking risks off the table."

The IMF on Monday will announce its official decision on whether to include China's yuan, or renminbi, in its special drawing rights currency but did not say what time it would do so.

Most analysts expect the IMF to add the yuan to its basket of reserve currencies. The offshore yuan gained overnight amid talk of intervention by Beijing to tighten the spread between on- and offshore rates, but in thin action, the dollar rose against the currency during U.S. trading.