December 19, 2017 / 3:37 PM / in a year

FOREX-Dollar regains footing on data, ahead of U.S. tax bill vote

    * U.S. tax reform bill dominates trading this week
    * U.S. housing starts data helps dollar

 (Adds comment, U.S. data, updates price, changes byline,
dateline; previous LONDON)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) - The dollar rose against most
currencies on Tuesday, helped by upbeat U.S. housing data, but
gains were limited by doubts about the overall impact of a major
U.S. tax overhaul plan on the economy.
    The Republican-controlled U.S. Congress will begin voting on
Tuesday on the biggest changes to the U.S. tax system in more
than 30 years, with little standing in the way of the party's
first major legislative bill under President Donald Trump. 
    The U.S. House of Representatives, which introduced initial
tax legislation barely six weeks ago, was poised to act first
with a Tuesday afternoon vote.
    Stock markets around the world surged this week on U.S. tax
cut hopes, but the greenback has remained muted. Traders believe
most of the positive impact of the cuts to corporate taxes have
already been priced in, while expectations the overhaul would
trigger a wave of repatriated dollars were overplayed.
    The tax plan, designed in part to give U.S. multinationals a
reason to repatriate the roughly $2.6 trillion in profits held
by their foreign subsidiaries, would slash tax rates on such
previously accumulated earnings.
    "We think FX markets are less fazed by the bill; whether it
will induce a material shift in investment and the balance  of
payments remains unclear," said Mazen Issa, senior FX strategist
at TD Securities in New York.
    The greenback earlier gained ground after data showed 
domestic home construction unexpectedly rose to a 13-month peak
in November with the building of single-family homes hitting a
10-year high.
    In mid-morning trading, the dollar rose 0.2 percent against
the yen to 112.82 yen. It also moved higher against the
Swiss franc and sterling as well as the Australian
, Canadian, and New Zealand dollars.
    Against the euro, however, the dollar was weaker. The euro
was last at $1.1814, up 0.3 percent.
    Europe's shared currency has gained more than 12 percent
against the dollar so far this year and is on track to post its
strongest yearly performance since 2004. 
    "A year ago there was a lot of excitement [regarding
repatriation of dollars after the tax reform]. Now it's a bit of
a damp squid," said Jane Foley, a senior FX strategist at
Rabobank in London. 
    She said caution about the outlook for the U.S. economy was
also holding the dollar back.
    "It's very difficult to call for a significant increase in
value of (U.S.) yields when inflation is low. That is a
constraint for the value of the dollar," she said.    
    Currency bid prices at 10:18AM (1518 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1817        $1.1781     +0.31%         +12.40%     +1.1832     +1.1777
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        112.8200       112.5300    +0.26%         -3.47%      +112.8500   +112.5100
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     133.31         132.58      +0.55%         +8.26%      +133.4300   +132.6000
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9872         0.9856      +0.16%         -3.01%      +0.9875     +0.9835
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.3356         1.3380      -0.18%         +8.27%      +1.3401     +1.3342
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.2888         1.2860      +0.22%         -4.04%      +1.2905     +1.2850
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7657         0.7661      -0.05%         +6.13%      +0.7683     +0.7653
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.1668         1.1613      +0.47%         +8.87%      +1.1669     +1.1611
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8845         0.8804      +0.47%         +3.84%      +0.8865     +0.8802
 NZ               NZD=        0.6985         0.6993      -0.11%         +0.63%      +0.7018     +0.6981
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.3681         8.3573      +0.13%         -3.11%      +8.3762     +8.3524
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.8890         9.8465      +0.43%         +8.84%      +9.9030     +9.8491
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        8.4266         8.4349      +0.20%         -7.48%      +8.4402     +8.4102
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     9.9580         9.9380      +0.20%         +3.95%      +9.9680     +9.9334
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by
Tommy Wilkes in London; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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