December 18, 2017 / 8:12 PM / a year ago

FOREX-Dollar struggles on concerns of U.S. tax reform's limited impact

    * House-Senate Republicans put finishing touches on tax bill
    * Dollar awaits passage of tax bill for more direction
    * Bitcoin hits fresh record high over weekend

 (Adds comment, updates prices)
    By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    NEW YORK, Dec 18 (Reuters) - The dollar fell against a
basket of major currencies on Monday, as concerns grew over
whether a proposed U.S. tax overhaul program would have a major
impact on economic growth, after the bill moved another step
closer to passage over the weekend.
    The U.S. currency had edged higher after Republicans on the
House-Senate negotiating committee on Friday put the finishing
touches on a sweeping tax overhaul that involves large cuts in
levies on corporations.
    But it slid on Monday on uncertainty that the bill would
indeed be pushed through, and with some doubts also creeping in
over the pro-growth effect the tax reforms would have.
    "Even a passage of the bill by the year's end could have a
limited impact on the dollar as investors are increasingly
skeptical of the sustained positive impact the rushed bill will
have on the economy," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at
Commonwealth FX in Washington.
    Year-end demand for dollars had helped push the greenback
higher against the euro in recent sessions, said Alvin Tan, a
strategist at Societe Generale in London, but that slowed on
    Despite the dollar's latest dip, some analysts believe there
is further room for it to go higher.
    Economic forecasters expect lower corporate taxes to raise
U.S. growth by roughly 0.5 percent over the next year,
potentially lifting the pace of interest rate increases from the
two priced in by the market to closer to the three consistently
estimated by Federal Reserve policymakers, said Karl Schamotta,
director of global product and market strategy at Cambridge
Global Payments in Washington.
    Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar fell 0.2
percent to 93.702. The euro benefited from the dollar's
weakness, gaining 0.3 percent to $1.1781.
    Top Republicans are confident the U.S. Congress will pass
the tax bill this week, with a Senate vote as early as Tuesday
and President Donald Trump aiming to sign the bill by week's
    The dollar was 0.1 percent lower against the yen at 112.54
yen following Friday's rise of 0.2 percent.
    The greenback also failed to get support from a rise in U.S.
Treasury yields on Monday. The benchmark 10-year yield has been
confined to a 2.34 percent to 2.42 percent range over the past
    Bitcoin was down 1.1 percent at $18,755 on the
Bitstamp exchange. It hit a record high of $19,666 on Sunday,
ahead of the launch of bitcoin futures from CME Group Inc
    Currency bid prices at 3:00PM (2000 GMT)
 Description      RIC         Last           U.S. Close  Pct Change     YTD Pct     High Bid    Low Bid
                                              Previous                   Change                 
 Euro/Dollar      EUR=        $1.1783        $1.1752     +0.26%         +0.00%      +1.1834     +1.1739
 Dollar/Yen       JPY=        112.5400       112.5700    -0.03%         +0.00%      +112.8300   +112.3200
 Euro/Yen         EURJPY=     132.63         132.32      +0.23%         +0.00%      +133.0000   +132.2200
 Dollar/Swiss     CHF=        0.9858         0.9903      -0.45%         +0.00%      +0.9917     +0.9840
 Sterling/Dollar  GBP=        1.3381         1.3319      +0.47%         +0.00%      +1.3418     +1.3310
 Dollar/Canadian  CAD=        1.2868         1.2860      +0.06%         +0.00%      +1.2880     +1.2844
 Australian/Doll  AUD=        0.7665         0.7644      +0.27%         +0.00%      +0.7677     +0.7641
 Euro/Swiss       EURCHF=     1.1617         1.1640      -0.20%         +0.00%      +1.1668     +1.1614
 Euro/Sterling    EURGBP=     0.8804         0.8818      -0.16%         +0.00%      +0.8840     +0.8793
 NZ               NZD=        0.6994         0.6989      +0.07%         +0.00%      +0.7028     +0.6993
 Dollar/Norway    NOK=        8.3514         8.3785      -0.32%         +0.00%      +8.3952     +8.3156
 Euro/Norway      EURNOK=     9.8419         9.8494      -0.08%         +0.00%      +9.8805     +9.8290
 Dollar/Sweden    SEK=        8.4241         8.5046      -0.70%         +0.00%      +8.5172     +8.4094
 Euro/Sweden      EURSEK=     9.9264         9.9964      -0.70%         +0.00%      +10.0020    +9.9192
 (Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by
Jemima Kelly and Tommy Wilkes in London; Editing by Meredith
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