FOREX-Dollar little changed vs euro day after Fed decision

Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:21am EST

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NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The dollar was little changed against the euro on Thursday after three days of declines as investors digested the Federal Reserve's announcement of further stimulus on Wednesday.

Strategists said future dollar moves were likely to be driven by news on the U.S. fiscal issue and increasingly by U.S. data after the Fed's decision, also announced on Wednesday, to explicitly link its policy path to unemployment and inflation.

But U.S. data on Thursday on weekly initial jobless claims, retail sales and inflation did little to impact trading.

"Consumers have recovered somewhat after October's drop in sales but the trend has been declining since last June," Joseph Trevisani, chief market strategist at Worldwide Markets, Woodcliff Lake in New Jersey, said of the retail sales data. "When the results are adjusted for inflation, these are not numbers that will bring the Fed's employment goals any closer."

The euro was little changed at $1.3080, having hit a session low of $1.3039 and a session high of $1.3100.

The Fed, after its policy meeting ended on Wednesday, matched market expectations by saying it would keep buying $45 billion of government bonds each month after its "Operation Twist" programme expires, in addition to buying $40 billion a month in agency mortgage-backed securities.

It said interest rates would remain near zero until unemployment falls to at least 6.5 percent.

With the Fed actively targetting economic data, the dollar could see a boost if data shows any sign of improvement, analysts said. But they also cautioned that the euro could remain supported in the near term with positive developments in the euro zone and successful bond auctions in Italy.

The European Union reached a landmark deal on Thursday to make the European Central Bank the bloc's top banking supervisor, a move that was seen as a step closer to resolving the debt crisis.

YEN FALTERS

Against the yen, the dollar was at 83.47 yen, up 0.2 percent on the day, having hit a near nine-month high of 83.67.

The dollar was expected to rise further against the Japanese currency on expectations the Bank of Japan will ease monetary policy further.

The BOJ meeting will take place after Sunday's election which looks set to see the opposition Liberal Democratic Party clinch a resounding victory. LDP leader Shinzo Abe has been pushing the BOJ for more powerful monetary stimulus.

Part of the reason for the rise in dollar/yen was higher U.S. Treasury bond yields, which makes the dollar relatively more attractive against its low-yielding Japanese peer.

Earlier on Thursday the Swiss franc rose against the euro, after the Swiss National Bank left its cap at 1.20 francs per euro but reiterated it was prepared to buy foreign currency in unlimited amounts to maintain it.

The euro was last down 0.2 percent at 1.2089 francs.

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