The dollar fell for the first time in four days on Monday, as traders covered short bets on the euro amid signs of progress on a new treaty to govern the euro zone.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy held a meeting Monday ahead of a major summit of European leaders later this month.
In remarks following the meeting, Merkel and Sarkozy indicated that they have made progress on an agreement to implement new budget rules for the euro-zone. The leaders also called on Greece to complete its debt writedown with creditors as soon as possible.
The dollar eased to $1.2750 versus the euro, down from a 16-month peak near $1.2650. German industrial production eased slightly more than expected in November largely due to a contraction in manufacturing output.
Elsewhere, a trading scandal forced the resignation of the head of Switzerland’s central bank.
Swiss National Bank Governor Philipp Hildebrand stepped down from his post amid scrutiny of a controversial currency deal made by his wife that threatened to undermine the credibility of the central bank.
The dollar fetched 0.9520 Swiss francs as of mid-afternoon in New York. There was little movement near Y76.85 versus the yen, and the buck was stuck at $1.5430 versus the sterling.
Relatively robust employment figures have given the dollar a lift in recent days. Job growth in the U.S. came in stronger than expected in the month of December, according to figures released Friday by the Labor Department, with the increase in jobs helping to drive the unemployment rate down to its lowest level in almost three years.
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