The dollar is down against its major European rivals this afternoon, but has trimmed its early losses. The U.S. currency is also modestly higher against the Japanese Yen ahead of tomorrow’s announcements from both the Bank of Japan and the Federal Reserve.
The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, but traders are likely to keep a close eye on the accompanying statement for clues about the outlook for the next meeting in June.
Meanwhile, U.S. economic data was weaker than expected across the board this morning. New orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods increased by less than expected in the month of March, the Commerce Department revealed in a report released on Tuesday. The Commerce Department said durable goods orders climbed by 0.8 percent in March after tumbling by a revised 3.1 percent in February.
Economists had expected durable goods orders to increase by 1.6 percent compared to the 2.8 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.
Home prices in major U.S. metropolitan areas increased at a slower annual rate in the month of February, according to a report released by Standard & Poor’s on Tuesday.
The report said the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index was up 5.4 percent year-over-year in February, down from 5.7 percent in January. The pace of growth had been expected to slow to 5.5 percent.
Consumer confidence in the U.S. deteriorated by much more than expected in the month of April, the Conference Board said in a report on Tuesday. The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index dropped to 94.2 in April from a revised 96.1 in March.
Economists had expected the index to edge down to 96.0 from the 96.2 originally reported for the previous month.
The dollar fell to a low of $1.1339 against the Euro Tuesday morning, but has since bounced back to around $1.1290.
The buck dropped to a 2 1/2 month low of $1.4638 against the pound sterling Tuesday, but has since rebounded to around $1.4580.
U.K. housing market was boosted by the buy-to-let and second home buyers, who pushed gross lending to its highest level in eight years in March, ahead of a hike in the new stamp duty this month, raising fears that activity may ease sharply as the “Brexit” referendum nears.
Gross mortgage borrowing jumped 64 percent year-on-year to GBP 17.1 billion in March, which was the highest figure since April 2008, the British Bankers’ Association said Tuesday. Mortgage borrowing for house purchase at GBP 11.5 billion was 90 percent higher than a year ago.
Meanwhile, home loan approvals unexpectedly declined for a second straight month to their lowest level in three months in March. The number of loans approved for house purchase dropped to 45,096 from a revised 45,646 in February.
Economists had forecast 47,000 approvals for March. Nevertheless, approvals were 14 percent higher than a year ago.
Expectations that the Bank of Japan will help banks lend by offering a negative rate on some loans are rising.
The greenback has climbed to around Y111.320 against the Japanese Yen this afternoon, from an early low of Y110.664.