* Traders shrug off bullish U.S. data
* Yellen speech on Friday keenly awaited, focus on labor
* Norwegian crown hits two-month high
(Adds dollar dip, late prices and quotes)
By Michael Connor
NEW YORK, Aug 21 The dollar surrendered some
recent gains on Thursday as central bankers gathered for a
three-day meeting in Wyoming that will feature a potentially
market-rattling speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
The dollar had climbed steadily this week against other
major currencies, riding rising U.S. Treasury yields in contrast
to declining euro rates.
But the U.S. dollar index of six currency
combinations was down 0.09 percent in late New York trading
after touching an 11-month peak of 82.364 during overnight
"There has been a pretty strong dollar rally and today there
is profit-taking on dollar positions," said Kathy Lien, managing
director at BK Asset Management. "There is fear she is going to
sound less dovish than the FOMC minutes."
The minutes of the latest meeting of the Fed's
policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, released on
Wednesday, revealed an unexpectedly active debate among members
over whether increases in U.S. interest rates may be needed
sooner than generally forecast.
The dollar was little affected on Thursday by U.S. data
showing a greater-than-expected drop in new claims for
unemployment benefits and a stronger-than-anticipated rise in
America's leading economic indicators for July.
"On the U.S. data alone, the dollar should be extending its
gains," Lien said.
The euro recovered from an 11-month low against the dollar
after better-than-expected German private sector growth data.
The euro, which traded in early May a hair under $1.40, was last
up 0.15 percent to $1.3258.
"Stronger short-term gains for the buck are seen hinging on
remarks Friday from Fed Chair Janet Yellen on the job market,"
said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union
Business Solutions in Washington. "Words that strike a more
dovish than hawkish tone would leave the dollar vulnerable to a
Among the biggest movers in the European session was the
Norwegian crown, which hit a two-month high against the euro
after forecast-busting growth data.
Norway's economy grew 1.2 percent in the second quarter,
double expectations, and piling pressure on the central bank to
bring forward a rate hike.
The crown also rose sharply against the dollar
despite the greenback's being the most sought-after of the
actively traded currencies in the past few sessions. The dollar
last traded at 6.151 crowns, off 0.75 percent.
In the euro zone, Germany's private sector grew for a 16th
month running in August, suggesting Europe's largest economy
could expand robustly in the third quarter after it surprisingly
contracted in the second.
Data from France, however, showed business activity was
stagnant in August, although service sector growth picked up.
(Reporting by Michael Connor in New York; Editing by Leslie