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Dollar ekes out 2nd week of gains on Fed view By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A picture illustration of U.S. dollar, Swiss Franc, British pound and Euro bank notes, taken in Warsaw January 26, 2011. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

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By Saikat Chatterjee

LONDON (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar consolidated a second consecutive week of gains on Friday versus its major rivals as investors weighed the possibility of the Federal Reserve announcing its plans to reduce its stimulus in the coming weeks.

The greenback’s gains were more pronounced against its emerging market rivals with the Mexican peso and the Taiwan dollar leading losers. The former was hit by a bout of profit taking after a rate hike overnight while weak memory chip demand weighed on Taiwan’s currency.

Data on Thursday showed U.S. producer prices posted their largest annual increase in more than a decade in the 12 months through July.

While the data comes a day after consumer price data indicated inflation may be peaking, analysts said producer price data helps the case for removing some of the Fed’s stimulus.

Against a basket of its rivals, the greenback held firm around the 93 level, near an April high of 93.195 hit last week. It is up 0.2% this week after a 0.8% rise last week.

“With producer prices feeding into consumer prices, this suggests that the CPIs may have not hit a ceiling yet, and may have increased again bets on a potential tapering announcement by the Fed in September,” said Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at JFD Group.

The Fed will announce a plan to taper its asset purchases in September, according to a solid majority of economists polled by Reuters.

Several Fed officials this week came out in support of tapering bond buying in coming months, setting themselves apart from other, more dovish major central banks such as the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan.

The dollar’s strength was also encouraged by a mild bout of risk aversion in currency markets, with the Australian dollar and the struggling against the greenback.

The stood at $0.7340, near an eight-month low of $0.72895 touched last month, while the Canadian dollar eased to C$1.2517.

The euro edged higher at $1.1750, on course for a second straight week of losses and within striking distance of a four-month low of $1.1706 hit on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, bitcoin climbed 4% to $46,194, nearing Wednesday’s three-month peak of $46,787 while rose 6% higher to $3,225.

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