The dollar is giving back some of its early gains against its major European competitors on Monday, following the smaller than expected drop in pending home sales. However, the U.S. currency appears to have leveled off against the Japanese Yen, following its decline late last week.
The European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the U.S. FOMC will all hold policy meetings this week. Investors will also be watching for the release of the U.S. GDP data on Wednesday and the U.S. jobs report for July at the end of the week.
Pending home sales in the U.S. saw a modest decrease in the month of June, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Monday, with pending sales pulling back off their highest level in over six years.
NAR said its pending home sales index edged down 0.4 percent to 110.9 in June from a downwardly revised 111.3 in May. Economists had been expecting the index to drop by about 1.4 percent.
The dollar climbed to a high of $1.3238 against the Euro on Monday, but has since pulled back to around $1.3255.
Business confidence in Italy increased notably in July from the previous month, and to a larger extent than economists had forecast, latest data showed Monday.
The seasonally adjusted business confidence index, which refers to manufacturers’ assessment of their business conditions, advanced to 91.7 in July from the previous month’s revised score of 90.5, statistical office Istat said. Economists expected the index to move up to 91 from June’s originally reported 90.2.
The greenback rose to a high of $1.5328 against the pound sterling on Monday, but has since eased back to around $1.5350.
House price inflation in the UK eased in July as demand from first-time buyers weakened at the start of summer holidays, a survey by Hometrack revealed Monday. Average value of a house in England and Wales increased 0.3 percent month-on-month in July, slower than a 0.4 percent gain in June. London continued to drive overall house price growth with prices rising 0.7 percent.
U.K. mortgage approvals declined in June despite measures taken by the government and central bank to ease credit conditions, data from the Bank of England showed Monday. The number of loans approved for house purchases fell unexpectedly to 57,667 in June from 58,071 in May. It was forecast to rise to 59,500 in June.
British retailers expect sales volumes to rise again in the year through August, after recording its first rise in five months in July, the latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) showed Monday.
The survey pointed out that 39 percent of firms expect an increase in sales volumes in August compared with 29 percent predicting a decline. This resulted in a rounded balance of 10 percent.
Although the Japanese economy is likely to be affected by two planned sales tax hikes, it will continue to expand at a pace above potential, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said in a speech in Tokyo on Monday.
The government plans to lift sales tax to 8 percent in April 2014 and then to 10 percent in 2015. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is set to take a final decision on the hike in autumn.
The buck is holding steady around the Y98.000 level against the Japanese Yen on Monday, following a sharp decline at the end of the previous trading week. The U.S. currency pulled back from a high of Y100.444 on Thursday.
Retail sales in Japan were down a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent on month in June, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Monday. That was well shy of forecasts for an increase of 0.8 percent following the 1.5 percent gain in May.