(Adds quote; updates prices)
NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) - 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 York.
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)