* Slew of U.S. data this week ahead of next week’s Fed meeting
* Euro/dollar hits two-week low
* Walmart says news on litecoin was fake
(Adds comments, Litecoin, updates prices)
By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
NEW YORK, Sept 13 (Reuters) – The dollar climbed to a two-week peak against a basket of currencies on
Monday, bolstered by expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve could reduce its asset purchases by the end of
the year despite a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The greenback, however, came off its highs in afternoon trading.
The dollar indexearlier rose to 92.887, its highest since Aug. 27. It was last up slightly at
92.664.
A round of U.S. economic data is due out this week, starting with consumer prices on Tuesday, which will
give the latest update on how hot inflation has been ahead of next week’s Fed meeting.
Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker became the latest official to say he wants the central bank to
start tapering this year, saying in a Nikkei interview that he was keen to scale back asset purchases.
Tapering talk has boosted the dollar, said Erik Nelson, macro strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in
New York.
“We noticed from the Fed communication that they would like to de-link the taper from the rate hike,”
Nelson said. “But it will take a lot of convincing and frankly a lot of time for the market to change its
reaction function. For now, a taper timeline is closely linked to a rate hike timeline in the market.”
Tapering typically lifts the dollar as it means a step toward tighter monetary policy. It also means the
Fed will be buying fewer debt assets, which suggests there will be fewer dollars in circulation.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Fed officials will seek an agreement to begin paring
bond purchases in November.
Aside from inflation, U.S. retail sales and production figures are also scheduled for release this week.
“Another high CPI (consumer price index) reading this week in the face of weakening economic data could
begin to paint the Fed into a corner as pressure mounts for stimulus normalization,” said Christopher
Vecchio, senior analyst at DailyFX.com, the research unit of forex broker IG.
The euro was among the currencies to lose ground to the dollar, dipping to $1.1770, its lowest in a
little over two weeks, after the European Central Bank said last week it would start to trim its own
emergency bond purchases. The euro was last down 0.1% at $1.1801.
Against the yen, the dollar was up 0.1% at 110 yen. The dollar also gained 0.5% versus the
Swiss franc to 0.9228.
In the cryptocurrency market, bitcoin was down 2.8% at $44,762.
Litecoin, with a market cap of nearly $12 billion and one of the earliest digital currencies in
circulation, fell 2.6% to $180.78, according to crypto data tracker CoinGecko, after Walmart Inc
said a press release regarding the retailer’s partnership with the cryptocurrency was fake.
Litecoin rose as much as 27.4% on the fake news.

========================================================
Currency bid prices at 3:02PM (1902 GMT)
Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid
Previous Change
Session
Dollar index 92.6780 92.6300 +0.06% 2.997% +92.8870 +92.5640
Euro/Dollar $1.1803 $1.1812 -0.06% -3.39% +$1.1817 +$1.1771
Dollar/Yen 110.0000 109.9150 +0.09% +6.48% +110.1550 +109.8600
Euro/Yen 129.83 129.79 +0.03% +2.29% +129.9400 +129.5900
Dollar/Swiss 0.9228 0.9181 +0.52% +4.31% +0.9241 +0.9182
Sterling/Dollar $1.3827 $1.3831 -0.03% +1.21% +$1.3851 +$1.3797
Dollar/Canadian 1.2670 1.2695 -0.22% -0.53% +1.2695 +1.2639
Aussie/Dollar $0.7356 $0.7354 +0.07% -4.34% +$0.7375 +$0.7337
Euro/Swiss 1.0891 1.0839 +0.48% +0.78% +1.0893 +1.0839
Euro/Sterling 0.8534 0.8538 -0.05% -4.51% +0.8540 +0.8511
NZ $0.7101 $0.7127 -0.32% -1.08% +$0.7122 +$0.7098
Dollar/Dollar
Dollar/Norway 8.6495 8.6685 -0.24% +0.71% +8.6975 +8.6300
Euro/Norway 10.2123 10.2290 -0.16% -2.43% +10.2455 +10.1720
Dollar/Sweden 8.6115 8.6310 -0.22% +5.06% +8.6591 +8.6016
Euro/Sweden 10.1662 10.1890 -0.22% +0.89% +10.2024 +10.1627

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Iain Withers and Saikat Chatterjee in
London; Editing by Angus MacSwan, Will Dunham and Dan Grebler)

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