The dollar is mixed in early afternoon trading on Monday in New York. While the dollar is recouping some of last week's losses against the euro, the buck continues to see considerable pressure against the yen, slipping a fresh monthly low earlier in the day.
With no significant economic news on tap in the U.S., traders are focusing on the economic impact of the swine flu outbreak while digesting more earnings figures.
The greenback surged to 1.2998 versus the euro moving into the early afternoon hours, rising to its highest level against the currency since late last week. The buck is lingering near the mark posting a quote of 1.3164 in recent dealing.
Late on Friday, the dollar slipped to its lowest level in just over a week against the Eurozone currency, reaching a level of 1.3298. The move came after the buck reached a monthly high of 1.2887 last Monday.
The euro fell on concern that the European Central Bank will lower its key interest rate at its next policy meeting, scheduled to take place on May 7th.
Comments from ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet have been closely watched as traders expect an interest rate cut along with the possibility of non-conventional stimulus measures, such as an asset purchase program, in an effort to keep credit flowing in the embattled European Union.
Germany's overall consumer confidence index is forecasting a value of 2.5 points for May, unchanged from a revised 2.5 points reported in April, market research group GfK said. Economists were expecting a reading of 2.3 for May.
Elsewhere, the Federal Statistical Office said Germany's import price index in March fell at its fastest annual rate since April 1987. Import prices dropped 7.1 percent year-on-year in March after falling 6.4 percent in February and 5.4 percent in January.
Prices fell for the fifth consecutive month and the decline was quicker than a 6.5 percent fall forecast. On a monthly basis, import prices were down 0.4 percent in March following a 0.1 percent decrease in February.
Against the pound, the buck moved off of its daily high of 1.4524 posted earlier, falling by a penny and now hovering near the unchanged mark for the day. The dollar continues to linger near a weekly low of 1.4773 posted against the sterling late on Friday.
The dollar climbed to its highest level against the U.K. currency in nearly three weeks on Tuesday, with a quote of 1.4397. Just over a week ago, the greenback hit its lowest level since mid-January against the sterling, posting a quote of 1.5070.
In the U.K., house prices fell 0.3 percent on a month-to-month basis in April, the slowest pace of contraction in a year, a report by property consultants Hometrack showed. The data also showed the year-on-year rate for house prices in the month of April slipped by 10.1 percent.
In other news from the housing sector, the British Bankers' Association said the number of loans approved for house purchases in the U.K. fell to 26,097 in March from 28,024 in February. Mortgages approved in March were 25.3 percent lower than the previous year's level.
Meanwhile, the greenback continued its losing streak versus the yen, falling to 96.44 earlier, setting a fresh monthly low. The buck has pulled away from the mark heading early afternoon dealing, climbing to 96.75. The next major support level for the dollar is at 96.28 yen. The move came after the dollar largely leveled off since hitting a 3-month high of 101.43 yen on April 6th.
The Japanese government said the economy would shrink 5.2 percent in this fiscal year without the stimulus measures announced by Prime Minister Taro Aso.
Today, a supplementary budget was submitted to the Japanese Parliament that included a 14.7 trillion yen stimulus package for the export giant.
To finance the expanded budget, the government intends to sell 10.8 trillion yen in new bonds, bringing total bond sales to 44.1 trillion yen this fiscal year.
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