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Dollar gains against euro on Fed comments, slips against yen

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The U.S. dollar gained against the euro on Monday after Federal Reserve officials made hawkish remarks on monetary policy, while the dollar slipped against the yen on Japanese trade data and U.S. resistance to currency intervention from Tokyo.

The euro was last down 0.05 percent against the dollar at $1.1217. San Francisco Fed President John Williams said on Monday that the central bank would probably tighten policy a bit quicker in 2017 than this year, by perhaps one or two more interest rate hikes.

Also on Monday, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said keeping U.S. interest rates too low for too long could cause financial instability and that stronger market expectations for a rate rise were "probably good."

Topping the agenda this week is whether U.S. data adds to the likelihood of a June or July rate increase, with a handful of appearances by Fed policymakers expected to back the case for a move within months.

"From the FOMC members, we're getting a consistent message that some probability should be applied to June-July in terms of a rate hike, and that does help to keep both pressure on the dollar to strengthen as well as the front-end of Treasuries to sell off," said Richard Cochinos, head of European G10 FX strategy in London.

The dollar was last down 0.8 percent at 109.2 yen after data on Monday showed Japan's trade balance in April was 823.5 billion yen ($7.50 billion), against economists' forecasts for a 492.8 billion yen increase. Japan logged a trade surplus for the third consecutive month.

If a country's exports exceed its imports, as Japan's did recently, there is in theory a high demand for its goods and therefore for its currency.


Besides the trade data, a Group of Seven finance ministers' meeting concluded on Saturday with the United States warning Japan against intervening to weaken the yen, a rift that is perceived as preventing Tokyo from acting.

"The G7 ... did once again highlight the rift between U.S. and Japanese policymakers when it comes to currency interventions," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington. "The strong surplus number added to the yen's generally positive tone."

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was last down 0.1 percent at 95.22.