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Dollar Losing Ground As Year-End Approaches


The dollar is pulling back against its major rivals Friday afternoon. Trading activity has been rather subdued as this volatile trading week nears its end and the final days of 2018 approach.

U.S. economic data was mixed this morning. Growth in Chicago-area business activity pulled back in December after accelerating sharply in November, according to a report released by MNI Indicators on Friday, although the pace of growth slowed by much less than anticipated.

MNI Indicators said its Chicago business barometer dipped to 65.4 in December after spiking to 66.4 in November, with a reading above 50 still indicating growth in regional business activity. Economists had expected the barometer to drop to 62.0.

With decreases in the South and Midwest more than offsetting increases in the Northeast and West, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Friday showing a continued drop in pending home sales in the month of November.

NAR said its pending home sales index fell by 0.7 percent to 101.4 in November after plunging by 2.6 percent to 102.1 in October. The continued decline in pending home sales matched economist estimates.

The dollar fell to an early low of $1.1472 against the Euro Friday, but has since bounced back to around $1.1445.

Germany's consumer price inflation slowed sharply in December to its lowest level in eight months, figures from the Federal Statistical Office showed on Friday. The consumer price index rose 1.7 percent year-on-year following a 2.3 percent increase in November. Economists had forecast an inflation rate of 1.9 percent.

The buck reached an early high of $1.2635 against the pound sterling Friday, but has since retreated to around $1.27.

The greenback has dropped to around Y110.350 against the Japanese Yen this afternoon, from an early high of Y110.941.

The jobless rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent in November, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday. That was above expectations for 2.4 percent, which would have been unchanged from the October reading.

Industrial production in Japan was down a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent on month in November, the Ministry of Economy and Industry said in Friday's preliminary report. That exceeded expectations for a decline of 1.5 percent following the 2.9 percent jump in October.

Retail sales in Japan were down a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent on month in November, the Ministry of Economy and Industry said on Friday. That missed expectations for a decline of 0.4 percent following the 1.3 percent increase in October.

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