FOREX-Dollar regains footing on data, ahead of U.S. tax bill vote

* U.S. tax reform bill dominates trading this week

* U.S. housing starts data helps dollar

(Adds comment, U.S. data, updates price, changes byline, dateline; previous LONDON) NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) - The dollar rose against most currencies on Tuesday, helped by upbeat U.S. housing data, but gains were limited by doubts about the overall impact of a major U.S. tax overhaul plan on the economy. The Republican-controlled U.S. Congress will begin voting on Tuesday on the biggest changes to the U.S. tax system in more than 30 years, with little standing in the way of the party's first major legislative bill under President Donald Trump. The U.S. House of Representatives, which introduced initial tax legislation barely six weeks ago, was poised to act first with a Tuesday afternoon vote. Stock markets around the world surged this week on U.S. tax cut hopes, but the greenback has remained muted. Traders believe most of the positive impact of the cuts to corporate taxes have already been priced in, while expectations the overhaul would trigger a wave of repatriated dollars were overplayed. The tax plan, designed in part to give U.S. multinationals a reason to repatriate the roughly $2.6 trillion in profits held previously accumulated earnings. "We think FX markets are less fazed by the bill; whether it will induce a material shift in investment and the balance of payments remains unclear," said Mazen Issa, senior FX strategist at TD Securities in New York. The greenback earlier gained ground after data showed domestic home construction unexpectedly rose to a 13-month peak in November with the building of single-family homes hitting a 10-year high. In mid-morning trading, the dollar rose 0.2 percent against the yen to 112.82 yen. It also moved higher against the Swiss franc and sterling as well as the Australian , Canadian, and New Zealand dollars. Against the euro, however, the dollar was weaker. The euro was last at $1.1814, up 0.3 percent. Europe's shared currency has gained more than 12 percent against the dollar so far this year and is on track to post its strongest yearly performance since 2004. "A year ago there was a lot of excitement 1/8regarding repatriation of dollars after the tax reform 3/8. Now it's a bit of a damp squid," said Jane Foley, a senior FX strategist at Rabobank in London. She said caution about the outlook for the U.S. economy was also holding the dollar back. "It's very difficult to call for a significant increase in value of (U.S.) yields when inflation is low. That is a constraint for the value of the dollar," she said.


Currency bid prices at 10:18AM (1518 GMT)

Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid Previous Change


Euro/Dollar EUR= $1.1817 $1.1781 +0.31% +12.40% +1.1832 +1.1777 Dollar/Yen JPY= 112.8200 112.5300 +0.26% -3.47% +112.8500 +112.5100 Euro/Yen EURJPY= 133.31 132.58 +0.55% +8.26% +133.4300 +132.6000 Dollar/Swiss CHF= 0.9872 0.9856 +0.16% -3.01% +0.9875 +0.9835 Sterling/Dollar GBP= 1.3356 1.3380 -0.18% +8.27% +1.3401 +1.3342 Dollar/Canadian CAD= 1.2888 1.2860 +0.22% -4.04% +1.2905 +1.2850 Australian/Doll AUD= 0.7657 0.7661 -0.05% +6.13% +0.7683 +0.7653


Euro/Swiss EURCHF= 1.1668 1.1613 +0.47% +8.87% +1.1669 +1.1611 Euro/Sterling EURGBP= 0.8845 0.8804 +0.47% +3.84% +0.8865 +0.8802 NZ NZD= 0.6985 0.6993 -0.11% +0.63% +0.7018 +0.6981


Dollar/Norway NOK= 8.3681 8.3573 +0.13% -3.11% +8.3762 +8.3524 Euro/Norway EURNOK= 9.8890 9.8465 +0.43% +8.84% +9.9030 +9.8491 Dollar/Sweden SEK= 8.4266 8.4349 +0.20% -7.48% +8.4402 +8.4102 Euro/Sweden EURSEK= 9.9580 9.9380 +0.20% +3.95% +9.9680 +9.9334

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Tommy Wilkes in London; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)