Forex – Dollar Holds Onto Modest Gains with Tax Bill in Focus


© Reuters.  Dollar remains slightly higher vs. rivals, tax reform debate dominates© Reuters. Dollar remains slightly higher vs. rivals, tax reform debate dominates – The dollar remained moderately higher against other major currencies on Thursday, as investors were eyeing an upcoming vote on a highly-anticipated U.S. tax bill later in the day.

The greenback found support following a report by Politico that House Republicans are confident they have sufficient support to pass a massive overhaul of the U.S. tax code later Thursday.

The vote is expected at an 11:30 AM ET closed-door meeting in the Capitol.

Concerns over the reform plan were heightened on Wednesday after two Republican lawmakers criticized the bill.

The greenback also remained mildly supported by Wednesday’s positive U.S. inflation and retail sales data, which seemed to boost expectations for a December rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.14% at 93.85 by 05:15 a.m. ET (09:15 GMT), off the previous session’s three-week low of 93.31.

EUR/USD was down 0.17% at 1.1770, off the previous session’s one-month high of 1.1860, while GBP/USD held steady at 1.3177.

The single currency came under pressure after official data showed that consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 1.4% in October, down from 1.5% in September.

In the UK, data showed that retail sales rose more than expected on a monthly basis but, year-over-year, they fell for the first time since 2013.

Elsewhere, USD/JPY rose 0.37% to 113.33, while USD/CHF gained 0.36% to 0.9920.

The Australian dollar was little changed, with AUD/USD at 0.7590, while NZD/USD slid 0.39% to 0.6847.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier reported that the number of employed people increased by 3,700 in October, disappointing expectations for a 17,500 climb.

However, the report also showed that the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.4% last month from 5.5% in September. Analysts had expected the rate to remain unchanged.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD held steady at 1.2762.

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