The US dollar that extended its previous session’s rally against its major counterparts at the beginning of Thursday’s Asian session shed some of its gains shortly.
Traders considered a pair of economic reports from the North American session on Wednesday. The Commerce Department reported that new home sales fell 2.2 percent to an annual rate of 308,000 in February from the revised January rate of 315,000. The decrease surprised economists, who had expected sales to rise to 315,000 from the 309,000 originally reported for the previous month.
At the same time, the Commerce Department released a separate report showing a modest increase in durable goods orders in February that came in slightly below economist estimates.
The greenback reached its strongest level in more than 10 months against the common unit of Europe before paring some gains around 5:00 pm ET Wednesday. The dollar is presently trading at 1.3337, down by more than 0.2 percent from previous high of 1.3306. The euro-buck pair was worth 1.3315 at Wednesday’s North American close.
Against the pound, the greenback retreated from a fresh 3-week high of 1.4857 and is currently trading 0.3 percent down at 1.4907. The cable-buck pair closed Wednesday’s New York session trading at 1.4868.
The greenback also eased slightly to 91.92 against the yen after challenging Wednesday’s fresh 2 month high of 92.41. The dollar-yen pair is presently trading at 91.95, compared to Wednesday’s New York session closing quote of 92.31.
An index measuring corporate service prices in Japan was down 1.3 percent on year in February, the Bank of Japan said today, coming in at 97.4. That was roughly in line with forecasts for a 1.3 percent annual contraction following the revised 1.2 percent fall in January.
On a monthly basis, corporate service prices were up 0.1 percent after retreating 0.4 percent in the previous month.
The US dollar that reached its highest level in 2-weeks just before the beginning of the session pulled back to as low as 1.0711 by 8:15 pm ET Wednesday. The greenback-franc pair thus shed almost 0.3 percent and the pair is presently quoted at 1.0717.
Thursday, the markets will be glued to comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the Fed’s exit strategy as well as the week’s customary jobless claims data. Weekly initial jobless claims are expected to decline slightly to 450,000 from 457,000 in the previous week.