The dollar inched higher versus European rivals but continued to pull back against the yen after Japanese voters decided to carry on with economic stimulus.
Over the weekend, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe received a fresh mandate in the general elections to continue policies aimed at reviving the economy.
Meanwhile, markets were gearing up for the final Federal Reserve meeting of the year. On Wednesday, the Fed is widely expected to drop its pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time.”
The Fed’s two-day meeting gets underway tomorrow morning amid mounting concerns that economic problems in Europe might hinder a U.S. recovery that had been gaining momentum.
A closely-watched measure of confidence among U.S. home builders ticked down this month by one point to 57, according to National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo data released Monday.
September’s score of 59 was a nine-year peak.
Industrial production climbed more than expected in November, according to figures released by the Federal Reserve on Monday. The rise came on a surge in output at factories and on a jump in production at utilities.
The advance represented the strongest growth in about 3 and a half years.
The dollar dropped to Y117.80 versus the yen. down from a 7-year peak above Y122 set earlier this month.
The dollar was little changed near $1.24 versus the euro, about 2 cents from a recent 28-month peak. Versus the sterling, the dollar was up a penny to $1.56.
Canada’s loonie continued to weaken, as the petro-linked currency was trading at $1.1580 versus the greenback.
Crude oil prices remained in free fall Monday, slipping below $56 a barrel to its lowest since 2009.