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Dollar strongest since 2003; bond selloff resumes

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar climbed on Friday to its highest level since 2003 on continued bets on faster inflation and higher interest rates, while Treasuries resumed a selloff that left benchmark yields on track to post their steepest two-week increase in 13 years.

A growing perception that the economic policies of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will lift consumer prices pushed the dollar higher, weighing on crude and other commodities.

On Wall Street, the tech- and biotech-heavy Nasdaq Composite hit a record intraday high before slipping lower. The Dow industrials and S&P 500 were also near record highs despite the day's decline.


"I think given the major indexes are at or near all-time highs, we're probably due for a little bit of a digestion period," said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

"Equities are generally expected to move sideways until we get a little more of visibility into what some of the policies are going to be with the new administration."

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 39.48 points, or 0.21 percent, to 18,864.34, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 5.55 points, or 0.25 percent, to 2,181.57 while the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 14.15 points, or 0.27 percent, to 5,320.83.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> fell 0.54 percent, while MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe <.MIWD00000PUS> fell 0.49 percent.

Emerging market stocks fell 0.2 percent and remained near a four-month low hit Monday.

The U.S. dollar's rise against the yen <JPY=> raised hopes of an earnings boost to Japanese exporters, helping lift the Nikkei average <.N225> to a 10-month high. The blue-chip Japanese stock index closed 0.6 percent higher.


Last week's unexpected U.S. election victory from political neophyte Donald Trump has led to a repricing of assets, most notably in currency and bond markets.

Federal Reserve policymaker James Bullard said on Friday he is leaning toward supporting a rate rise in December, adding that a plethora of potential changes under Trump could affect future policy.

The euro <EUR=> fell 0.3 percent to $1.0594, while the yen <JPY=> weakened to 110.51, having earlier fallen to 110.92 per dollar. Against the Chinese yuan, the greenback hit 6.895 <CNY=CFXS>, its highest since mid 2008.

The dollar index <.DXY> hit a high of 101.48, its highest level since April 2003. It has risen over 4 percent in the last two weeks, its biggest fortnightly rise since March 2015.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield <US10YT=RR> rose to 2.355 percent, its highest since December. It is up about 51 basis points over the last two weeks - the biggest such rise in 13 years. Benchmark 10-year notes <US10YT=RR> last fell 14/32 in price.

U.S. crude <CLc1> last fell -0.2 percent to $45.50 a barrel and Brent <LCOc1> traded at $46.60, down -0.2 percent on the day.

Spot gold <XAU=> fell 0.6 percent to $1,208.92 an ounce. U.S. gold futures <GCcv1> fell 0.7 percent to $1,208.60 an ounce.

Copper <CMCU3> fell 0.9 percent to $5,444.00 a ton.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; additional treporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bangalore and Richard Leong and Dion Rabouin in New York; Editing by Nick Zieminski)