(Adds quote; updates prices)
NEW YORK Dec 19 The dollar clawed back into
positive territory against a basket of currencies on Monday
after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the U.S. labor
market has improved to its strongest in nearly a decade,
suggesting wage growth is picking up.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback's
value versus the euro, yen and four other currencies, was up
0.05 percent at 103.00.
"It seems like she is acknowledging the continued
improvement in the jobs market. That's pretty consistent with
what she and other policymakers have been saying," said Eric
Viloria, currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in New
The dollar pared losses against the yen after hitting
session lows against the Japanese currency on news that the
Russian ambassador to Turkey was killed in an attack in the
Turkish capital of Ankara.
The greenback was last down 0.7 percent at 117.17 yen
(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)