The dollar is losing ground against all of its major competitors on Wednesday, due to continued investor concerns over the political deadlock in Washington on the issue of increasing the debt ceiling. The standoff over Obamacare could result in a government shutdown if a new continuing resolution is not passed before funding runs out at the end of the month.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew also sent a letter to Congress warning that the Treasury will exhaust its emergency borrowing measures no later than October 17th, leaving the U.S. with only $30 billion to pay its bills.
While the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday that unexpectedly showed a modest increase in durable goods orders in August, it also showed an unexpected drop in orders when excluding transportation equipment.
The Commerce Department said durable goods orders edged up by 0.1 percent in August after tumbling by a revised 8.1 percent in July. The modest increase surprised economists, who had expected orders to drop by 0.5 percent compared to the 7.4 percent decrease that had been reported for the previous month.
New home sales in the U.S. came in roughly in line with economist estimates in the month of August, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, with sales bouncing well off the previous month’s nine-month low.
The report said new home sales jumped 7.9 percent to an annual rate of 421,000 in August from the revised July rate of 390,000. Economists had expected new home sales to climb to 420,000 from the 394,000 originally reported for the previous month.
The dollar reached an early high of $1.3460 against the Euro Wednesday morning, but has since fallen to a 2-session low of $1.3525.
German consumer morale touched its highest level in six years heading into October, as households’ outlook of the general economy brightened further, the results of a survey by market research group GfK showed Wednesday.
The forward-looking headline consumer confidence index for October came in at 7.1, up from an upwardly revised 7 for September. Economists had forecast the index to rise to 7 from the 6.9 initially estimated for September.
Confidence in the French industrial sector unexpectedly deteriorated in September, after improving in the previous months, latest data showed Wednesday. The headline industrial confidence index dropped to 97 points in September from 98 points in the previous month, statistical office Insee said. Economists expected the index to rise to 99 points.
The greenback also briefly touched an early high of $1.5978 against the pound sterling Wednesday, but has since retreated to around $1.6065.
British retailers expect business activity to increase further next month, after recording the strongest growth in fifteen months in September amid broad-based improvement in sales across the main sub-sectors, data from the latest Distributive Traders Survey compiled by the British Chamber of Commerce (CBI) showed Wednesday.
Of the surveyed retailers, 46 percent reported an increase in sales volumes in September, while 12 percent said sales decreased. The resultant balance of 34 percent was the highest since June 2012. The outcome far exceeded the expectations for a balance 26 percent. Sales increased for the third consecutive month.
The buck fell to a low of Y98.374 against the Japanese Yen on Wednesday, but has since bounced back to around Y98.700.
An index measuring corporate service prices in Japan was up 0.6 percent on year in August, the Bank of Japan said on Wednesday, standing at 96.1. That beat forecasts for an increase of 0.5 percent following the upwardly revised 0.6 percent increase in July.
Japan’s small business confidence rose marginally in September, according to survey results published by Shoko Chukin Bank Wednesday. The business sentiment index, which is designed to measure confidence among entrepreneurs in the small-scale industries sector, rose to 49.8 in September from 49.7 in August.