Dollar at highest since 2003; oil falls in choppy trade

Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:03pm EST
 
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By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar index touched a near 14-year high on Wednesday, while oil prices fell in a volatile session as traders were caught between a build in U.S. stockpiles and the chance of an agreement on an output cut.

On Wall Street, declines in bank stocks more than offset gains in the technology sector. The S&P 500 had ended on Tuesday at a 10-week high while the Dow industrials set a record close, fueled by a post-U.S. election rally.

"People with money on the sidelines are looking for a place to put it. They're looking for names that haven't rallied as much and ones that have rallied are taking a bit of a breather," said Paul Hickey, co-founder at research firm Bespoke Investment Group in Harrison, New York.

The dollar has surged in the past week, tracking Treasury yields higher on the expectation that increased U.S government spending could trigger higher inflation and force the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy more quickly than expected.

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 54.92 points, or 0.29 percent, to 18,868.14, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 3.45 points, or 0.16 percent, to 2,176.94 while the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 18.96 points, or 0.36 percent, to 5,294.58.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 fell 0.21 percent, while MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS edged down 0.11 percent.

Emerging market stocks .MSCIEF rose 0.7 percent but remained near a four-month low hit Monday.

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U.S. dollar notes are seen in this November 7, 2016 picture illustration. Picture taken November 7. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration