Dollar index trims gains after U.S. home sales data

Investing.com –

Investing.com – The dollar trimmed gains against the other major currencies on Monday, after the release of disappointing U.S. home sales data, although concerns over whether Greece will announce the necessary reforms for its bailout extension continued to support safe-haven demand.

In a report, the National Association of Realtors said that existing home sales decreased 4.9% to 4.82 million units last month from 5.07 million in December. Analysts had expected existing home sales to fall 0.8% to 4.97 million units in January.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.30% to 94.69.

EUR/USD was down 0.41% to 1.1336 from 1.1383 late Friday.

The single currency came under renewed selling pressure as concerns over the conditions attached to the bailout extension kept investors cautious. Athens was to submit a list of reforms to be approved by the country’s creditors in order to secure the extension later Monday.

The traditional safe-haven Swiss franc was lower amid relief over the deal, with USD/CHF rallying 1.14% to 0.9489. The euro was also higher against the Swissie, with EUR/CHF up 0.78% to trade at 1.0757.

The yen was steady against the dollar, with USD/JPY at 118.96, while EUR/JPY declined 0.44% to 1.0756.

Earlier Monday, the minutes of the Bank of Japan’s January meeting showed that three policymakers expressed doubts the central bank can meet its inflation target because of a slowdown in underlying prices and falling In other trade, GBP/USD rose 0.24% to 1.5431.

The Confederation of British Industry reported on Monday that its index of U.K. retailers plunged by 38.0 points to a 21-month low of 1.0 in February from 39.0 in January. Analysts had expected the index to fall by 5.0 points to 34.0 this month.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were mixed, with AUD/USD down 0.65% to 0.7791 and NZD/USD steady at 0.7524.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD gained 0.46% to 1.2588. The loonie remained under pressure after weak domestic retail sales data on Friday was seen as increasing the likelihood of another rate cut by the country’s central bank.

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