Dollar pushes lower on year-end profit-taking

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Dollar extends losses vs. rivals as traders lock in gainsDollar extends losses vs. rivals as traders lock in gains - The dollar pushed lower against the other major currencies on Tuesday, after the release of lower-than-expected U.S. consumer confidence data and as investors locked in profits from the greenback's recent rally to nine-year highs.

Trading volumes were expected to remain light ahead of the New Year's holiday.

In a report, the Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 92.6 this month from 91.0 in November, whose figure was revised to previously estimated reading of 88.7. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 93.2 in December.

But the dollar remained supported as data last week showing that U.S. gross domestic product rose 5.0% in the third quarter added to expectations for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next year.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.35% to 90.22, not far from the nine-year high of 90.66 hit overnight.

EUR/USD edged up 0.11% to 1.2168, off two-year lows of 1.2124 hit earlier in the session.

Markets were jittery after Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said on Monday that he will recommend parliamentary elections are held on January 25, almost 18 months before his coalition's term was due to end.

The announcement came as Samaras failed in his third attempt to persuade lawmakers to back his candidate for head of state, forcing the legislature’s dissolution.

Earlier Tuesday, preliminary data showed that Spanish consumer price inflation slipped 0.6% this month, after a 0.1% downtick in November.

Year-on-year, Spanish CPI dropped 1.1% in December, compared to expectations for a 0.7% fall, after a 0.4% downtick the previous month.

The pound edged higher against the dollar, with GBP/USD up 0.21% to 1.5553. The Nationwide Building Society earlier reported that U.K. house price inflation rose 0.2% this month, confounding expectations for an increase of 0.3%, after a 0.3% gain in November.

Year-on-year, U.K. house prices rose 7.2% in December, below expectations for a 7.5% gain, after an increase of 8.5% the previous month.

Elsewhere, USD/JPY tumbled 1.17% to 119.23, while the Swiss franc eased off two-year lows, with USD/CHF down 0.11% to 0.9886.

The Australian dollar pulled away from four-and-a-half year lows, with AUD/USD up 0.74% to 0.8191, while NZD/USD climbed 0.69% to 0.7840 and USD/CAD edged down 0.21% to trade at 1.1614.

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