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Dollar Still Stronger

MARKETSCOPE : The dollar was still stronger on Tuesday following economic data news that pointed to firm growth and tame inflation in the U.S.

One dollar bought 119.11 yen, compared to 118.77 yen at Monday's close. The yen has been sliding against the dollar recently, after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi urged the central bank to stick with its current policy of holding interest rates near zero until deflation is beaten.

The euro slipped to $1.1693 from $1.1697, while the sterling fell to $1.7363 from $1.7391.

News hit that the October Producer Price Index, excluding food and energy, fell unexpectedly by 0.3%. November retail sales fell 0.1% vs. an expected 0.5% to 0.7% decline. The November New York Fed index rose to 22.82 from 12.08 in October, better than expected. The headline Produce Price Index rose 0.7%.

Investors continued wondering about the direction of european and U.S. interest rates in the coming months. The U.S. Federal Reserve has hiked rates 12 times since 2004, in an effort to control inflation by making it more expensive for people to borrow.

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