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Dollar Steady Against Peers


The U.S. dollar is higher against most major currencies on Wednesday, amid signs growth in the world's largest economy is well on track.

The dollar index is gaining 0.33%, at 96.38, displaying strength against a basket of major currencies.

The dollar is trading at 1.1369 against the Euro, strengthening from previous close of 1.1406, after data out of Germany showed a drop in the country's factory orders for a second straight month.

Preliminary data from the Federal Statistical Office showed Germany's factory orders decreased for a second straight month in December and at a faster pace, defying expectations for a modest gain.

Manufacturing orders decreased a calendar and seasonally adjusted 1.6% from the previous month, while they were forecast to rise 0.3%. The latest fall was the most since June, when orders shrunk 3.6%.

The monthly decline for November was revised down to 0.2% from 1% reported initially.

The greenback is gaining about 0.1% against Pound Sterling, at 1.2936 as uncertainty about Brexit continue to weigh on the British currency.

Quoting at 109.97 yen, the greenback is little changed from previous close.

The dollar is higher against the Aussie and the Canadian currency Loonie as well.

According to the report from the Commerce Department, U.S. trade deficit narrowed by much more than anticipated in the month of November. The report said trade deficit narrowed to $49.3 billion in the month, from a revised $55.7 billion in October.

Economists had expected the deficit to narrow to $54 billion in November, from the $55.5 billion originally reported for the previous month.

The release of the report was delayed due to the partial government shutdown that lasted 35 days.

Meanwhile, a report from the Labor Department showed manufacturing sector labor productivity increased by 1.3% in the fourth quarter after climbing by 1.1% in the third quarter.

The Labor Department said non-farm business productivity and all unit labor costs data are currently not available for fourth quarter and that these will be released on March 7th.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would hold a two-day summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam at the end of February as part of a "bold new diplomacy."

However, Trump's second State of the Union address lacked details on progress in U.S.-China trade talks.

Ahead of a fresh round of negotiations in Beijing next week, Trump said a new trade deal must include real structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce the chronic trade deficit and protect American jobs.

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