Dollar Sinks To 3-Year Low Against Euro

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WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - The dollar is losing ground against all of its major rivals Friday afternoon. The losses are more pronounced in comparison to its major European rivals after the developments of the last few days.

The Euro rallied to a 3-year high against the dollar Friday after German politicians reached a breakthrough in talks aimed at forming a new coalition government. The currency initially jumped on Thursday after the minutes from the most recent meeting of the European Central Bank revealed that the central bank could change the tone of its monetary policy communication early this year to reflect the improvement in growth prospects.

A report released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed US retail sales rose in line with economist estimates in the month of December. The Commerce Department said retail sales increased by 0.4% in December after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.9% in November.

Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.4% compared to the 0.8% increase originally reported for the previous month.

Reflecting a sharp pullback in energy prices, the Labor Department released a report on Friday showing US consumer prices rose by less than expected in the month of December. The Labor Department said its consumer price index inched up by 0.1% in December after climbing by 0.4 in November. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2%.

Business inventories in the US increased by slightly more than anticipated in the month of November, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday. The report said business inventories climbed by 0.4% in November, while economists had expected inventories to rise by 0.3%.

The dollar has tumbled to over a 3-year low of USD1.2178 against the Euro Friday afternoon, from an early high of USD1.2039.

France's consumer prices increased at a steady pace in December, final data from the statistical office Insee showed Friday. Consumer prices climbed 1.2% year-on-year in December, the same pace of increase as seen in November and in line with flash estimate.

The buck has dropped to an 18-month low of USD1.3735 against the pound sterling Friday afternoon, from an early high of USD1.3537.

The greenback has slipped to over a 1-month low of Y111.040 against the Japanese Yen this afternoon, from a high of Y111.692 this morning.

Japan posted a current account surplus of 1.347 trillion yen in November, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday, down 5.6% on year. That was shy of expectations for a surplus of 1.836 trillion yen and down from 2.176 trillion yen in October.

A measure of peoples' assessment of the Japanese economy decreased unexpectedly in December, though marginally, survey figures from the Cabinet Office showed Friday.

The current index of Economy Watchers' survey dropped to 53.9 in December from 54.1 in November. Meanwhile, economists had expected the index to improve to 55.1.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX