October 11, 2016 / 12:15 PM / 3 years ago

FOREX-Dollar hits 11-week high on bets of December Fed rate hike

* Dollar index at strongest since late July

* Swedish crown hits 6-1/2-year low

* U.S. Treasuries at 4-month highs

* Market awaits Fed minutes, Yellen speech this week

By Jemima Kelly

LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - The dollar hit an 11-week high on Tuesday as investors upped their bets on the Federal Reserve raising U.S. interest rates before the end of the year, and as doubts grew over Donald Trump’s ability to win the U.S. presidency.

In Sweden by contrast, market players are betting the central bank may have to ease policy further - a view that was strengthened by a weak inflation print on Tuesday, sending the Swedish crown to a 6-1/2-year low against the euro.

As U.S. Treasury yields rallied to their highest levels since early June, the dollar index - which measures the greenback against six major peers - jumped 0.6 percent to 97.475, its highest since late July.

Traders have priced in a 70 percent chance the Fed will hike rates at its Dec. 13-14 meeting, up from 66 percent on Friday, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

Some analysts said widening odds of Trump becoming president were also helping to drive up the dollar, after the most senior Republican in Congress, Paul Ryan, distanced himself from him. A Trump victory is seen as likely to trigger political uncertainty, which markets tend to shy away from.

“Trump is widely deemed to be dollar-negative, while a Clinton victory is regarded to be positive for the dollar. In the absence of a shock victory for Trump, the Federal Reserve will most likely raise interest rates in December, thanks to improving data in the US,” said Forex.com analyst Fawad Razaqzada.

But not all were so sure about Trump’s impact on the dollar. “I think politics is difficult for the dollar these days - I don’t know if the market has quite made up its mind about what to make of a possible Trump victory,” said DZ Bank currency strategist Sonja Marten, from Frankfurt.

“I think (the dollar strength) is more to do with the Fed... At this point it seems like they’re more willing to take a slightly more hawkish stance.”

Investors are looking to Wednesday’s release of minutes of the latest Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting to see how close the Fed was to hiking rates last month.

Speaking to reporters after a speech in Sydney, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said he “could be fine” with the Fed raising rates in December, but he wanted to see how the economy and inflation progressed before deciding.

China’s yuan slipped further, hitting a new six-year low after the central bank set a weaker guidance rate, fuelling market expectations that it may allow further depreciation and triggering dollar purchases, traders said.

New Zealand’s dollar fell more than 1 percent to hit $0.7058 , its weakest since late July, after an official from the country’s central bank reiterated that further rate cuts would be needed to jump-start inflation.

Japanese, Canadian and some U.S. markets were closed on Monday for holidays.

For Reuters new Live Markets blog on European and UK stock markets see reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=http://emea1.apps.cp.extranet.thomsonreuters.biz/cms/?pageId=livemarkets (Additional reporting by Tokyo markets team; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Alexandra Hudson)

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