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Dollar edges up as traders await rate cut clues, euro dips



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Updates at 1115 GMT

By Harry Robertson and Kevin Buckland

LONDON/TOKYO, June 18 (Reuters) -The dollar edged higher on Tuesday, knocking the euro slightly, as traders awaited a U.S. retail sales report and comments from Federal Reserve officials to help gauge the timing of interest rate cuts.

The U.S. dollar index =USD, which measures the currency against six major peers, was last up 0.18% to 105.46. It lost 0.2% on Monday as it retreated from Friday's six-week high of 105.80.

The greenback has been pulled in different directions as mild U.S. inflation readings contrasted with an overall hawkish stance by Fed officials at last week's policy meeting, when they trimmed their previous median projection for three quarter-point rate cuts this year to one.

Last week's 0.6% rally in the dollar was mostly driven by a sharp euro selloff after French President Emmanuel Macron called a shock snap election in response to his ruling centrist party's trouncing by Marine Le Pen's eurosceptic National Rally in the European Parliament elections.

The euro EUR=EBS has stabilised this week and was last 0.17% lower at $1.0716, but up from a six-week low of $1.0668 on Friday after climbing 0.26% on Monday.

"Over the weekend, France's Le Pen said that she would be ready to work with President Macron and would not seek him out," said Mohit Kumar, chief economist for Europe at Jefferies.

"A portion of the recent risk off moves have been driven by fears of 'Frexit' and euro area breakup," he said. "Those fears are overblown."

U.S. retail sales data is due at 1230 GMT (8.30 a.m. ET) and is expected to show a 0.3% month-on-month pick-up in May after zero growth in April.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker revealed on Monday that he is in the single-cut camp, but left the door open to changing his view depending on incoming data.

A long list of Fed officials take to the podium at various venues later in the day, including the Boston Fed's Susan Collins and the Richmond Fed's Thomas Barkin.

"If you look at the data flow coming out of the U.S., the inflation data and the labour market data are pointing to a turn in policy at the Fed," despite the paring of rate cut projections by officials, said Rodrigo Catril, senior currency strategist at National Australia Bank.

"At the moment, it's the dollar's safe haven appeal that's been keeping it supported," Catril added.

The dollar rose 0.26% to 158.13 yen JPY=EBS, moving back towards Friday's six-week high of 158.26. Sterling GBP=D3 slipped 0.15%to $1.2686.

Meanwhile, the Aussie dollar was unfazed by the Reserve Bank of Australia's as-expected decision to hold rates steady on Tuesday, and was little changedat $0.6615 AUD=D3.

"The RBA's position was well-telegraphed: they're in wait-and-see mode until they get more inflation data," said NAB's Catril.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin BTC= fell about 1.6%to $65,270,around a one-month low.



Reporting by Harry Robertson in London and Kevin Buckland in Tokyo
Editing by Christina Fincher and Bernadette Baum

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