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Dollar largely holds gains as US inflation data awaited

  • Friday's strong employment data helped the dollar snap out of its funk.
  • That was its biggest single-day rise of 2017.
U.S. one hundred dollar bills.
Bloomberg | Getty Images
U.S. one hundred dollar bills.

The U.S. dollar eased slightly on Monday, but clung to most of its gains following Friday's robust U.S. jobs report, as investors await inflation data this week that may signal a turnaround in the currency's weakness this year.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major rival currencies, was down 0.12 percent to 93.43.

The index rose 0.76 percent on Friday as strong employment data bolstered the case for further monetary policy tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

"For the most part, the U.S. dollar is holding onto Friday's gains," said Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management in New York.

"The only thing holding the dollar back from seeing further gains are yields," she said.

U.S. Treasury yields were flat to slightly lower in choppy trading on Monday after Friday's stronger-than-expected U.S. non-farm payrolls report, with no real influences ahead of government bond and corporate supply this week.

The greenback reacted little to comments on Monday from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari.

The Fed can leave interest rates where they are for now because inflation is not likely to rise much even if the U.S. job market continues to improve, Bullard said.

The greenback gained against the New Zealand dollar, the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar on Monday.

"We have a view that the U.S. dollar is due for some mild corrective strength in the near-term and we see some confirming price action from some of the key G10 currency pairs," said Erik Nelson, currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in New York.

Despite Friday's boost, the dollar index is down 8.6 percent for the year.

U.S. producer prices for July due on Thursday and consumer price index figures on Friday should confirm whether labor market strength is spilling over into inflation.

"There's certainly some wait-and-see behavior today," Nelson said.

Meanwhile, the euro shrugged off an unexpected fall in German industrial production in June and was nearly flat against the dollar to $1.174.

The British pound slipped to a 10-month low against the euro, as investors bet the Bank of England would keep interest rates at record lows for the coming months, while the European Central Bank moves towards tightening.