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U.S. Dollar Turning In Lackluster Performance

Following the volatility seen in recent days, the U.S. dollar has experienced relatively lackluster trading on Wednesday.

The U.S. dollar index has fluctuated over the course of the day and is currently inching up by just 0.1 percent.

The greenback is trading at 104.66 yen compared to the 105.64 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1275 compared to yesterday's $1.1281.

The choppy trading comes as investors keeping a close eye on the latest developments regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

Total confirmed coronavirus cases have climbed to nearly 122,000 worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, while the total number of deaths is closing in on 4,400.

Johns Hopkins also said the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has jumped to more than 1,100 from just over 100 a week ago.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that up to 70 percent of the German population could become infected with the coronavirus.

The World Health Organization recently declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, citing the disease's rapid spread outside of China.

"We're deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction," said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic."

Traders are also closely watching efforts to limit the economic impact of the outbreak, with the Bank of England announcing an emergency 50 basis point interest rate cut to a record low of 0.25 percent.

On the U.S. economic front, a report released by the Labor Department showed a modest increase in consumer prices in the month of February.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index inched up by 0.1 percent in February, matching the uptick seen in January. Economists had expected prices to come in unchanged.

Consumer prices edged higher as higher prices for food and shelter more than offset a steep drop in energy prices.

The report said core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, rose by 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month. The increase in core prices matched economist estimates.

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