The greenback traded on weaker footing against the major currencies in the Tuesday session, sliding by 0.8% versus the Japanese yen and losing around 0.4% against both the euro and the British pound. Crude oil managed to extend gains further, trading up by 1.3% to settle near $82.40-per barrel - its highest level since May 13th. Meanwhile, the US equity bourses closed marginally lower with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 shedding around 0.4% and the Nasdaq declining by 0.5%. Wall Street stalled on the heels of soft earnings reports from Proctor & Gamble and Dow Chemical.
The US economic reports were largely weaker than expected on the session. Garnering the lion's share of market attention was the pending home sales report, which was initially estimated to improve by 4.0% in June, reversing the record 30% plunge from May. Instead, the headline figure posted a decline of 2.6% versus a marginal upward revision of 29.9% from the prior month. On a yearly basis, pending home sales fell by 20.1% in June compared with a 15.6% drop from the previous year. Both personal spending and income were softer than forecast and flat for the month of June. Rounding out today's reports was the June core PCE, which edged up slightly on a yearly basis at 1.4% and flat on a monthly basis.
The disappointing housing report weighed on the markets and shifts the focus to the jobs data due out over the rest of the week. Wednesday will see the July Challenger job cuts report, followed shortly by the ADP private-sector payrolls. The ADP report is expected to reveal jobs creation of 33k in July for the private sector versus 13k jobs added in June. Also to be closely watched will be the non-manufacturing ISM report, forecast to slip to 53.0 in July compared with 53.8 in the previous month. The employment index will also be analyzed following the dip in the previous reading to below the key 50-level.
RBA Stands Pat
The Reserve Bank of Australia left interest rates unchanged at 4.5% when it announced the results of its policy deliberations overnight. The decision was largely anticipated in light of the recent dovish commentary from RBA Governor Stevens. In the accompanying statement, the RBA stated that with growth likely to be close to trend, inflation close to target and the global outlook remaining somewhat uncertain, the board judged this setting of monetary policy to be appropriate. Recall last week's Australia CPI figures were softer than anticipated, tempering market expectations for the RBA to raise rates over the remainder of the year. The next key piece of information will be released on Friday with the RBA's inflation forecasts.