* Traders shrug off bullish U.S. data
* Yellen to speak on jobs Friday
* Norwegian crown hits two-month high
(Adds New York open, updates prices; changes byline, dateline,
By Michael Connor
NEW YORK, Aug 21 The dollar held onto healthy
recent gains to trade little changed 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 has climbed steadily this week against other
major currencies, riding rising U.S. Treasury yields in contrast
to declining euro rates.
The U.S. dollar index of six currency combinations
touched a fresh 11-month peak of 82.364 in overnight trading but
was down 0.06 percent in early New York trading.
The dollar was little changed against the Japanese yen
at 103.73 yen, while 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 0.20 percent to $1.3283.
Currency trading was also dulled by worries ahead of a
flurry of financial indicators on Thursday, according to Joe
Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business
Solutions in Washington.
U.S. data showing fewer than forecast Americans filing new
claims for unemployment benefits had little effect on the
dollar, as did a stronger-than-anticipated rise in America's
leading economic indicators for July.
"Stronger short-term gains for the buck are seen hinging on
remarks Friday from Fed Chair Janet Yellen on the job market,"
Manimbo said. "Words that strike a more dovish than hawkish tone
would leave the dollar vulnerable to a pullback."
Amongst 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 being the most sought-after of the
actively traded currencies in the past few sessions. The dollar
last traded at 6.154 crowns, off 0.6 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.
(Editing by James Dalgleish)