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Dollar dips ahead of Janet Yellen speech on interest rates

Published on Aug 22, 2014 6:38 AM

NEW YORK (AFP) - The dollar fell on Thursday, a day after scoring sharp gains, as investors braced for a speech from Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen that could signal the direction of interest rates.

A flurry of stronger-than-expected US economic data - including jobless claims and used-home sales - was not enough to extend Wednesday's big rally that had pushed the greenback to its highest level against the euro in 11 months.

The dollar had surged after the Federal Reserve's minutes of its last monetary policy meeting revealed an intensifying debate about raising the key federal funds rate, held in a range of zero to 0.25 per cent since December 2008.

The euro gained ground on Thursday despite a downbeat reading on eurozone business activity. Markit's purchasing managers index came in below expectations and suggested only sluggish economic growth in the 18-nation currency bloc.

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