Dollar has worst week in over a year amid political uncertainty

NEW YORK, May 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar fell on Friday, adding to its worst week since April 2016 against a basket of major currencies, and having surrendered the gains made since Donald Trump was elected U.S. president.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six world currencies, has shed more than 2 percent this week. On Friday, it fell 0.75 percent, hitting its lowest since Nov. 9, the day after the U.S. election.

Uproar over Trump's recent firing of FBI Director James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into possible links between the president's team and Russia, has pressured the dollar.

"The dollar overall, across the board, has been getting beat up this week and a lot of that has to do with the political risk here in DC," said John Doyle, director of markets at Tempus Inc in Washington. "While we saw a little bit of a reprieve yesterday, we're right back on that dollar weakness train."

The U.S. currency has also suffered from a resurgent euro, which has the largest weighting in the dollar index. The single currency has gained more than 2.5 percent this week, headed for its best performance since February 2016. It rose 0.95 percent on Friday to a six-month high of $1.1205.

The advance of the euro was spurred by a possible winding down of the European Central Bank's expansive monetary stimulus program, said analysts, with recent data pointing to a robust recovery in the euro zone.

Against the safe-haven Swiss franc, the dollar fell 0.65 percent, touching a six-month low. It was on pace for its largest weekly percentage fall since February 2016.

The dollar fell 0.3 percent against the yen to 111.14 and had its first weekly drop in five against the Japanese currency.

The dollar moved broadly lower after a report that a senior White House adviser is a person of interest in the investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The greenback also sank against emerging market currencies, which were dragged lower on Thursday by news that Brazilian President Michel Temer had been recorded offering bribes to silence testimony by a potential witness in the country's wide-ranging corruption probe.

The dollar fell 3.3 percent against the Brazilian real .

Oil-linked emerging market currencies like the Mexican and Colombian pesos and the Russian rouble gained around 1 percent versus the dollar, also boosted by a rise in oil prices. (Additional reporting by Jemima Kelly in London; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Steve Orlofsky)

RELATED: 50 everyday expenses you need to stop spending money on

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50 everyday expenses you need to stop spending money on
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50 everyday expenses you need to stop spending money on
ATM fees

"Take a bit of extra time to withdraw money from your bank's ATM and save on the cost to withdraw your own cash or if your bank has a mobile app, use it to find an in-network ATM near you."

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Lottery tickets

"According to the Powerball, the odds hitting the jackpot are 1 in 292,201,338.00, and CNN cites that Americans spent $70.15 billion in 2014. Let's save our hard-earned money."

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Coffee

"A daily cup of joe adds up if you purchase it at places like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. Save by brewing at home."

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Credit card interest

"Maintaining a balance on your card usually you to pay interest each month. Try to pay off your credit card balance in full each month or send more than the minimum payment. As always, use your credit cards responsibly."

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Kids meals when dining out

"When you do dine out and if you have kids with you, be sure to take advantage of 'kids eat free' specials. Most restaurants have specific days of the week when they offer free kids meals."

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Gas station food and snacks

"Although it may be convenient, prices are always marked up when compared to other stores. So take the time to shop for food in advance at your grocery store and pack emergency snacks in your car."

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Pumping premium gas

"Some vehicles may not require premium gas, which is the most costly of the gasoline grades. Stop trying to be fancy, check the owner's manual, and save."

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Banking fees

"Don't pay to manage your money at a bank. Find banks that offer free banking or bank online for free like CapitalOne 360. Earn $25 when you open a free checking or high-yield savings account."

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Change-counting machines

"Many of us like to keep our loose change in a jar and let it collect over time. Once it's full, don't pay machines to count it for you, go to your bank to deposit your savings or have it exchange for cash."

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Wasting gas due to low tire pressure

"You may not know this, but having low tire pressure affects your mileage significantly. Save gas and money by improving your gas mileage by simply checking your tire pressure and maintaining it at the proper level."

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Single car washing

"Many car wash places offer a flat monthly rate for unlimited washes, so check with your local car wash to find out if they offer a monthly rate and cash in on a clean car. Or, you can get a discount when you pump your gas."

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Bottled water

"Unless you live in an area where potable water isn't safe, don't waste your money on bottled water. Often times, it's simply bottled tap water. Buy a reusable water bottle or invest in a quality water filter, and save (plus you'll reduce plastic waste)."

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Cigarettes

"It's a tough addiction to beat, but it is a very expensive to purchase cigarettes daily. Aside from causing deadly health effects, according to Time, smoking can cost you $1 to $2 million in a lifetime. Make an effort to better your health and wallet."

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Gift bags and wrapping

"Reuse bags from previous occasions if they are still in good condition. We started doing this last year and no longer have to run out and by $3+ gift bags when we go to events or parties."

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Plastic bags fees

"For those living in an area where stores charge for plastic bags (*cough cough Chicago*), bring your own reusable one. Those cents add up!"

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Utility bill payment fees

"Skip the line at the currency exchange or grocery store and pay online using checking account or debit card. Some companies charge to use a debit card, so schedule e-check payment, which is typically free."

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Travel size toiletries

"For the frequent traveler, you should buy empty travel containers and refill with shampoo, lotion, etc. as needed."

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Paper

"Unless you're a student, you probably don't really need to buy a lot of paper – reuse already printed pages and use both sides."

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Magazine and newspaper subscriptions

"Save money and paper by keeping up with free online news services."

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Paying for premium streaming music services

"In the digital age of music, don't pay for premium services. Streaming companies like SoundCloud and Spotify allow you to listen to music for free."

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Buying books

"If you'd like to truly own a book, then save on the paper and extra cost by purchasing the digital version, or go to your local library and check them out for free."

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Library late fees

"Remember to return all materials on time. It'll save you money and allow for other library patrons to enjoy the material in a timely manner. If you do have library fees, wait for a month when they accept canned goods as a payment method (usually around the holidays)." 

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Brand new video games

"Skip the early release and commotion of having the latest video game. Save major bucks by purchasing a used version of the game online or at stores like Game Stop."

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In-app purchases

"Gaming apps are meant to entertain, and while most of them are free, don't fall for the "purchase bonus lives" trap. In-game purchases add up."

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Greeting cards

"Take some time to make your own personal cards or send an eCard and skip on the expense."

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New phone chargers

"If you forget your charger and your phone needs to be charged, some time you'll be inclined to purchase a new one, but it can be costly or even poor quality. Always keep your charger handy, look for a charging station where you're at, or simply ask to borrow one."

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Expiration dates

"Sometimes, expiration dates may not reflect the true shelf life of a product. Don't waste food (and money) by throwing out a product which may still be fine to consume. Check out Eat By Date and see for yourself the true shelf life of your groceries."

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Stuff on your birthday

"When you're heading out and can't or don't want to drive, consider calling Uber or Lyft instead of calling a cab so you can save money on the ride. You can use my linkto get $20 off your first Uber ride."

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Batteries

"Save on disposable batteries and purchase rechargeable ones. They can last up to two to three years."

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Pens

"Many offices, banks, insurance companies, etc, give them away for free. Save them and skip on the purchase."

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Insurance

"Be sure to get the best rate for your individual needs, whether it is car, health, home or life insurance."

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Garbage bags

"If your area doesn't charge for using plastic bags, reuse the ones you get from shopping as garbage bags. I do this all the time."

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More house than you need

"While some families "grow into" their homes, sometimes less is more. Save on mortgage and the possibility of purchasing more for a larger home. Downsize and save."

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Club/bar full cover charges

"While having a spontaneous night out is fun, if you RSVP when possible, arrive early, or take advantage of online ticket sales, you can skip out on paying in full at your favorite nightlife places."

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Leaky faucets

"If you pay for water utility bill, according to the EPA, fixing leaky faucets saves you 10% on your bill. By ignoring it, you not only lose money every day it goes unfixed, but you also waste clean water, at a rate of 10,000 gallons per year."

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Fast food restaurants

"Improve your health and wallet by not eating fast food often. It may be cheap, but it adds up, especially if you eat out a few times per week. Instead, spend the money and the time to grocery shop and prepare meals."

Credit: My Debt Epiphany

Cool drafts

"Save on heating and electric bills by fixing drafts and keep the warmth and cool in your home during the winter and summer."

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Unnecessary data phone plans

"Unless you need unlimited data for work, you should not spend much on your cell phone bill. I save a ton of money on my cell phone bill by using Republic Wireless."

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Pet food

"You may not be able to cut out this expense completely if you have pets, but you can score free cans of pet food with coupons occasionally so you won't have to spend as much."

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Buying lunch

"Sometimes you're running late for work and don't have time to pack a lunch. Buying lunch often costs much more than preparing and bring a meal to work. Spend some time planning, purchasing and preparing meals ahead of time so they're ready to go, even when you're in a hurry."

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Leaving electronics plugged in

"Even though you may not use them often, electronics that are plugged in still consume energy. Unplug appliances you don't you often and keep other electronics on a power strip, turning them off when not in use."

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Prepared grocery store meals

"When you do go grocery shopping, sometimes the already-prepped sub or diced fruits and veggies tempt you to buy them and save time, but you'll be paying top dollar for those products. Plan a list ahead of time and buy the individual food items, then spend the time prepping them yourself in order to save.

If you have trouble making grocery lists and figuring out what you're going to eat each day, I'd highly recommend trying out the $5 Meal Plan so you can receive healthy meal plans and recipes to your inbox."

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Vending machine snacks

"Not only are these snacks typically unhealthy (there goes your healthy habit), they are typically much more expensive than their grocery store counterparts. If you find yourself buying vending machine snacks, try to save the money instead and see how much you have leftover at the end of the month. You can probably invest it."

Credit: My Debt Epiphany

Transportation

"When you're heading out and can't or don't want to drive, consider calling Uber or Lyft instead of calling a cab so you can save money on the ride. You can use my link to get $20 off your first Uber ride."

Credit: My Debt Epiphany

Brand name items

"Save money by skipping on the brand names, like medicine, toiletries, and certain foods. Remember that healthier options with fewer additives may cost more and in that case they may be worth it. Otherwise, generic is the way to go."

Credit: My Debt Epiphany

Buying smaller/single packs

"Save money by skipping on the brand names, like medicine, toiletries, and certain foods. Remember that healthier options with fewer additives may cost more and in that case they may be worth it. Otherwise, generic is the way to go."

Credit: My Debt Epiphany

Purchasing paper towels/paper napkins

"You are purchasing these to eventually throw them out. Save on the waste and save money by buying reusable, washable towels and napkins. Your wallet and the environment will thank you."

Credit: My Debt Epiphany

Paying extra for night time movie showings

"Primetime showings are typically 2x higher than those during the day. Go to morning matinees or take advantage of weekly specials ($5 movie nights during the week)."

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Movie theater food

"Often times, movie theater food can cost more than the ticket to get in. Try to keep food purchases to a minimum when you can or eat a filling meal before you go see a movie."

Credit: My Debt Epiphany

DVDs and On Demand

"Instead of spending money on purchasing the movie, subscribe to streaming services and find an alternative or go to your local library."

Credit: My Debt Epiphany

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