Dollar weakens on Fed taper talk

The dollar fell against the euro Monday as traders debated whether the Federal Reserve would move soon to reduce its huge monetary stimulus.

The euro rose to $1.3737 around 2200 GMT from $1.3705 at the same time Friday.

The European unit also rose against the Japanese currency, to 141.89 yen from 141.03 yen. The dollar gained, too, buying 103.28 yen compared with 102.85 yen late Friday.

"The US dollar is mixed but lower on balance, with market participants seemingly not convinced that Friday's US jobs report will lead to an imminent policy shift by the Federal Reserve," said Nick Bennenbroek of Wells Fargo Securities.

Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management noted that the weekend's stronger Chinese trade numbers and Friday's stronger-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report, showing the US added 203,000 jobs in November, was helping to drive the dollar's dip against the euro and the pound and its gain against the yen.

"The sell-off in commodity currencies indicates that risk appetite is limited," she said.

"With no major US economic reports scheduled for release in the front of the week, the momentum in the market is bounded by the unpredictability of Fed policy."

Lien said a piece of data that could push the Fed to favor an early taper is Thursday's retail sales report for November.

"If consumer spending rises more than 1.0 percent in November, the Fed will have the confidence to reduce bond purchases this month and the expectations for earlier tapering should drive USD/JPY to fresh highs," she said.

But if spending growth slows to 0.2 percent or less, the central bank may choose to wait until the holiday shopping season is over, and that delay could trigger profit taking in risk currencies, she added.

The dollar fell against the British pound, which fetched $1.6424 compared with $1.6346 on Friday.

The greenback slipped to 0.8906 Swiss franc from 0.8915 franc.