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Dollar gains against yen as traders see Dec. Fed rate hike

Dan Kitwood | Getty Images

The U.S. dollar hovered near a roughly nine-month high against a basket of major currencies and touched a one-week high against the yen on Monday on growing expectations of a Federal Reserve interest rate increase in December.

Recent positive economic data and comments from central bank officials have bolstered those expectations, with traders on Monday seeing a nearly 70 percent chance that the Fed would hike in December, according to data from CME Group's FedWatch program.



San Francisco Fed President John Williams on Friday redoubled his call for raising rates soon, while New York Fed President William Dudley said on Oct. 19 that a rate hike was likely this year.

Preliminary Markit data on Monday showing U.S. manufacturing hit its highest level in a year this month reassured traders after a reading last week showed U.S. home resales beat expectations in September.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was up slightly at 98.722, just off its roughly nine-month high of 98.846 touched earlier on Monday.

The dollar hit 104.32 yen, its highest in a week, during the morning U.S. trading session.

"It's more a continued move higher in the dollar on expectations that the Fed will indeed raise interest rates in December," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.



The euro was down against the dollar at $1.0877, near a more than seven-month low of $1.0857 touched Friday.

The dollar slipped against emerging market currencies. Analysts attributed the move to recent opinion polling before the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election, which has favored Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump.

Trump's more protectionist trade measures have been seen as a risk to emerging market currencies, but fading expectations that he would win the presidency have helped those currencies gain, analysts said.

"To the extent that the election matters for the dollar, that's an indication of markets pricing in less Trump risk," said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York.

The dollar was last down slightly at 18.56 Mexican pesos and had fallen 0.6 percent to 3.13 Brazilian reais.