October 17, 2016 / 12:36 AM / a year ago

FOREX-Dollar touches 7-month high after upbeat U.S. data

* Dollar index inches up to 7-month high

* US retail sales, producer prices data reinforce rate hike view

* China GDP, ECB meeting, US presidential debate awaited this week

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - The dollar inched up to a seven-month high against a basket of currencies on Monday, retaining some of the momentum from upbeat U.S. data released the previous session that reinforced expectations for a December interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

The dollar index was up 0.1 percent at 98.l22 after touching 98.158, its highest since March 10.

The U.S. currency was steady at 104.110 yen after gaining 0.4 percent on Friday. The euro hovered close to a near three-month low of $1.0965 plumbed earlier on Monday.

The greenback garnered support on Friday from strong U.S. retail sales and producer prices numbers for September - the latest indication that the U.S. economy regained its momentum in the third quarter after a lacklustre first half.

A rise in U.S. Treasury yields on Friday following comments from Fed Chair Yellen gave additional support to the dollar. The 30-year Treasury bond yield reached a four-month high on Friday after Yellen suggested the Fed may allow inflation to exceed its 2 percent target.

While the market kept an eye on U.S. yields to see how much further they could rise and lift the dollar, events that could impact investor risk appetite were also awaited to see if the greenback could retain its upward momentum.

“The schedule this week isn’t packed with strong U.S. data releases, and market focus is likely to centre around three events,” said Shin Kadota, chief Japan FX strategist at Barclays in Tokyo.

“These would be Wednesday’s China GDP data, the ECB policy meeting after recent talk of tapering and the last U.S. presidential debate, which would give the market a chance to confirm if Clinton has the lead over Trump.”

The third and final U.S. presidential debate takes place on late on Wednesday (U.S. time) and the ECB holds its policy meeting on Thursday.

Elsewhere, the pound slipped 0.2 percent to $1.2169 . Sterling, dogged by prospects of a complex and potentially chaotic exit by Britain from the European Union, had lost nearly 2 percent last week.

The Australian dollar was down 0.3 percent at $0.7596 , trimming some of its gains made on Friday on the back of a bounce in commodity prices. (Reporting by Shinich Saoshiro; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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