Investing.com – The U.S. dollar was higher on Friday after better-than-expected retail sales and amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise rates next week.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.56% to 97.60 as of 10:02 AM ET (15:02 GMT).
Retail sales accelerated in November, with core retail sales up 0.2%, alleviating fears of a slowing U.S. economy.
Meanwhile, investors are focused on an upcoming meeting of the U.S. central bank, which is expected to increase rates, with a 79.2% chance priced in, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.
Still, investors remain uncertain of the number of rate hikes in 2019, after dovish comments from Fed officials, who say interest rates are nearing neutral, whereby they neither stimulate or hinder the economy.
The dollar was flat against the safe-heaven Japanese yen, with USD/JPY inching up 0.01% to 113.63.
Meanwhile the pound was lower as Brexit woes continued. UK Prime Minister Theresa May is in Brussels seeking clarity on a backstop agreement in the Brexit draft after surviving a vote of no confidence earlier this week. A vote on the draft agreement is expected in January. GBP/USD slumped 0.7% to 1.2547.
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