* U.S. retail sales data, Boston Fed conference in spotlight
* Expectations of December Fed hike lift greenback
* China inflation numbers see yen under pressure
By Anirban Nag
LONDON, Oct 14 The dollar rose on Friday,
ticking up with Treasury yields and on track for weekly gains,
as investors await U.S. retail sales data and remarks from
Federal Reserve officials that could cement expectations of a
U.S. interest rate hike this year.
The safe haven yen and the Swiss franc were
under pressure after risk sentiment got a boost from Chinese
data that showed producer prices rising for the first time in
nearly five years. That boded well for the global economy which
has been battling the threat of deflation in recent months.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a
basket of six major currencies, added 0.35 percent to 97.842
. It was not far from a seven-month high of 98.129 touched
on Thursday, and up 1.2 percent for the week, and more than 2.5
percent for the month so far.
Retail sales data would offer some insight on the strength
of U.S. consumption. Following the data, Fed Chair Janet Yellen
will address an economics conference, at which Boston Fed
governor Eric Rosengren will also speak.
The minutes of the latest Fed meeting in September, released
on Wednesday, prompted investors to raise their bets of a Fed
rate increase at its December policy meeting. Markets are now
pricing in around a 70 percent chance that the Fed will move.
"Markets are looking for a solid rebound in US consumer
spending, with the headline retail sales print likely to pick
up," said Viraj Patel, currency strategist at ING.
"With consumption now a key engine for growth, we've noted
that dollar crosses have been more sensitive to surprises in
recent U.S. retail sales reports. So any upside in today's
release could sustain the dollar's upward momentum."
Against the yen, the dollar rose 0.7 percent to 104.34
, having risen to 104.62 yen on Thursday, its strongest
level since late July. It was up 1.2 percent for the week.
Traders said with dollar/yen pushing steadily higher,
investors who have been building bets in favour of the yen in
recent weeks are likely to cut those positions, giving another
leg up to the greenback.
"Positioning is a concern for us," Morgan Stanley analysts
said in a note. "With the markets extremely long the yen
currently, it will only take a small rise in dollar/yen for
positioning to start to adjust."
The euro fell 0.4 percent to $1.1017, heading back
toward its Thursday's low of $1.0982, its lowest level since
late July. It was down 1.6 percent for the week.
(Additional reporting by Lisa Twaronite; Editing by Toby