FOREX-Dollar erases losses on positive U.S. economic data

    * U.S. data shows solid economic strength
    * U.S., China trade deal seen as mildly negative for dollar
    * Swiss franc continues to gain

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments
to U.S. market open, new byline, changes dateline, previous
    By Karen Brettell
    NEW YORK, Jan 16 (Reuters) - The dollar index erased earlier
losses on Thursday after multiple data releases painted a
positive U.S. economic picture, but remained slightly lower on
the day after the United States and China made a preliminary
deal to de-escalate their trade war.
    The Commerce Department said on Thursday retail sales
increased 0.3% last month. Data for November was also revised
upward to show retail sales gaining 0.3% instead of rising 0.2%,
as previously reported.
    A gauge of manufacturing activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic
region also rebounded in January to its highest level in eight
months, and the outlook is the brightest in more than a year and
a half, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said.

    Other data showed that the number of Americans filing for
unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week.
    “The data flurry was positive, particularly the Philly Fed
number,” said Greg Anderson, global head of foreign exchange
strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York. It “reduces the
probability for a recession, which was low already.”
    The dollar index was last 97.220, after falling to
97.085 overnight, which was the lowest since Jan. 8.
    The dollar has weakened since the United States and China on
Wednesday signed a deal in which China will boost purchases of
U.S. goods and services by $200 billion over two years in
exchange for the rolling back of some tariffs.
    But 25% tariffs on a $250 billion array of Chinese
industrial goods and components used by U.S. manufacturers, and
China's retaliatory tariffs on over $100 billion in U.S. goods,
will remain.
    “For the dollar, it’s a mixed bag ... it should mean higher
U.S. growth this year, but it also means higher foreign growth
this year and less risks abroad, and that tends to pull capital
out of the U.S. and be dollar negative,” said Anderson.
    The Swiss franc continued to gain against the dollar,
reaching 0.961 overnight, its strongest level since Sept. 2018.
    The United States on Monday added Switzerland to its watch
list of currency manipulators, which analysts say could
discourage the Swiss National Bank (SNB) from intervening to try
to limit further appreciation of the franc.
    Currency bid prices at 9:26AM (1426 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1155        $1.1149     +0.05%         -0.49%      +1.1172     +1.1146
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        110.0200       109.8800    +0.13%         +1.07%      +110.0600   +109.8600
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     122.74         122.52      +0.18%         +0.65%      +122.8600   +122.5100
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9636         0.9641      -0.05%         -0.43%      +0.9650     +0.9614
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.3046         1.3036      +0.08%         -1.61%      +1.3074     +1.3026
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.3044         1.3041      +0.02%         +0.45%      +1.3048     +1.3032
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.6923         0.6902      +0.30%         -1.40%      +0.6933     +0.6901
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.0750         1.0748      +0.02%         -0.94%      +1.0759     +1.0734
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8548         0.8550      -0.02%         +1.11%      +0.8562     +0.8540
 NZ               NZD=        0.6658         0.6616      +0.63%         -1.16%      +0.6665     +0.6617
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.8738         8.8610      +0.14%         +1.08%      +8.8814     +8.8470
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.8997         9.8794      +0.21%         +0.63%      +9.9116     +9.8710
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        9.4645         9.4616      +0.07%         +1.26%      +9.4781     +9.4528
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     10.5590        10.5519     +0.07%         +0.86%      +10.5735    +10.5460

 (Reporting by Karen Brettell; editing by Jonathan Oatis)