The dollar lost momentum on Friday as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke of a gradual pace of rate hikes and sounded less hawkish than some had expected, while investors braced for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to be sworn in.
The dollar index .DXY, which tracks the greenback against six major currencies, fell 0.2 percent to 100.97. It was on track to shed 0.2 percent for the week.
The dollar came off peaks after Fed Chair Yellen spoke at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in early Asian trading hours.
Yellen noted the U.S. central bank should continue to raise interest rates slowly to keep inflation low and jobs plentiful and avoid harming the recovery the Fed has sought to nurture.
"Yellen did not particularly talk about speeding up the pace of rate hikes, which may have sounded as less hawkish for some," said FPG Securities President Koji Fukaya.
The dollar index had hit a high of 101.73 on Thursday on upbeat U.S. job and housing data, with homebuilding rebounding sharply in December as a firming economy boosted demand for rental housing. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits also dropped unexpectedly to near the lowest levels in decades.
Investors are now awaiting the inauguration of Trump later on Friday for catalysts. [Read more... http://snip.ly/grr7o ] By Yuzuha Oka | TOKYO