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U.S. dollar down, still set for best year since 2015

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WASHINGTON — The dollar was on track

to post its best year since 2015 on Friday in the last trading

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day of a year dominated by Federal Reserve rate hikes and fears

of a sharp slowdown in global growth.

As 2022 draws to a close, the dollar was set to notch a 7.9%

annual gain against a basket of currencies – its biggest annual

jump in seven years. But the dollar has pared gains in recent

weeks as investors look for signs of when the Fed’s

interest-rate-hiking cycle might end.

The Fed has raised rates by a total of 425 basis points

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since March in an attempt to curb surging inflation.

With liquidity lower due to holidays, the dollar index was

down around 0.433% on the day at 103.530.

“I think everyone is struggling with the question of whether

the big problem in 2023 will be weak growth or stubborn

inflation,” said Adam Button, chief currency analyst at

ForexLive. “If it’s weak growth, the U.S. dollar will fall. If

it’s high inflation, then the U.S. dollar will rally.”

The euro was up 0.34% on the day to $1.0697, on

pace for a 5.9% annual loss versus the dollar, compared with

last year’s 7% drop. A combination of weak euro-zone growth, the

war in Ukraine and the Fed’s hawkishness has put the euro under

pressure this year.

“Higher rates paired with stronger economic growth are

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helping to pull flows into the euro area, but any of that is at

risk, particularly if energy prices do rise again, or the

[European Central Bank] starts to turn less hawkish,” said Karl

Schamotta, chief market strategist at Corpay.

The British pound was last up 0.09% at $1.2063, on pace for

a 10.8% annual drop.

The Australian dollar, seen as a liquid proxy for risk

appetite, was up 0.41% on the day at $0.681, but set to

drop 6.4% on the year overall.

China’s offshore yuan was down 0.73% against the U.S. dollar

at $6.9215. It was on pace to drop 8.7% this year, hurt

by dollar strength and a domestic economic slowdown.

Optimism about China’s reopening after three years of strict

COVID-19 curbs has been tempered by surging infections that

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threaten more economic disruptions.

Jan Von Gerich, chief analyst at Nordea, said China’s

reopening “will be a source of volatility.”

“But when we get past that, when we really get to the really

positive economic impact, I think it should boost risk appetite

globally,” he said.

The U.S. dollar was down around 1.63% against the Japanese

yen, at 130.860..

The Bank of Japan’s ultra-dovish stance has the dollar set

to gain 13.7% versus the yen this year, in the yen’s worst

performance since 2013.

The Swiss franc was steady versus the dollar, at 0.923

.

The Swiss National Bank increased the amount of the Swiss

currency it sold in the third quarter of 2022, the central bank

said on Friday, indicating that its focus has switched from

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stemming the franc’s strength to fighting inflation.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin last fell 0.26% to

$16,550, down more than 64% so far in 2022.

========================================================

Currency bid prices at 2:12PM (1912 GMT)

Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid

Previous Change

Session

Dollar index 103.5300 103.9800 -0.42% 8.224% +104.1000 +103.3800

Euro/Dollar $1.0697 $1.0662 +0.33% -5.91% +$1.0714 +$1.0639

Dollar/Yen 130.8600 133.0300 -1.63% +13.67% +133.0900 +130.7700

Euro/Yen 139.99 141.81 -1.28% +7.42% +141.8900 +140.0200

Dollar/Swiss 0.9234 0.9228 +0.01% +1.17% +0.9267 +0.9200

Sterling/Dollar $1.2066 $1.2054 +0.10% -10.78% +$1.2107 +$1.2011

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Dollar/Canadian 1.3564 1.3549 +0.11% +7.28% +1.3581 +1.3515

Aussie/Dollar $0.6807 $0.6777 +0.44% -6.36% +$0.6821 +$0.6752

Euro/Swiss 0.9879 0.9841 +0.39% -4.73% +0.9889 +0.9831

Euro/Sterling 0.8865 0.8841 +0.27% +5.54% +0.8877 +0.8823

NZ $0.6343 $0.6350 -0.08% -7.30% +$0.6372 +$0.6311

Dollar/Dollar

Dollar/Norway 9.8310 9.8750 -0.50% +11.53% +9.9085 +9.8255

Euro/Norway 10.5199 10.5278 -0.08% +5.06% +10.5625 +10.4982

Dollar/Sweden 10.4309 10.4548 +0.09% +15.67% +10.4905 +10.3737

Euro/Sweden 11.1588 11.1490 +0.09% +9.04% +11.1695 +11.0773

(Reporting by Hannah Lang in Washington; additional reporting

by Elizabeth Howcroft in London; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama,

Matthew Lewis and Leslie Adler)

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