Dollar falls for fifth straight session on Fed uncertainty

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The dollar dropped for a fifth consecutive session against major currencies on Thursday as recent economic data and comments from Federal Reserve officials added to uncertainty about when the U.S. central bank might begin to reduce its stimulative bond purchases. Although most analysts expect the dollar to resume strengthening toward the end of the year, uncertainty about when the Fed may reduce its $85 billion per month bond-buying program should keep the currency under pressure.

The dollar index, which measures the currency's value against six other major currencies, fell 0.4 percent to 80.956, having earlier hit 80.868—its lowest since June 19. Against the yen, the dollar last traded little changed at 96.45 yen, after hitting a low of 95.79, also a seven-week low.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar rallied after China trade data suggested the world's second-largest economy was stabilizing after more than two years of slowing growth. China is a major export destination for Australia. The Australian dollar rose 1.3 percent to $0.9119.

The euro was up 0.4 percent at $1.339, having hit a seven-week high of $1.3400, helped by figures showing an above-forecast German trade surplus and by Wednesday's much stronger-than-expected German factory data.

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