The dollar traded softer against the majors amid increased risk-appetite ahead of key reports on the US labor market starting on Wednesday. The greenback relinquished the 1.51-handle versus the British pound and the 1.35-mark against the euro earlier in the session before recovering slightly in the New York afternoon. The US equity markets were marginally higher after a mixed bag of economic reports.
Home prices continued to struggle with the Case-Shiller index, declining by 0.7% on an annualized basis versus a slide of 3.1% in the previous year and down by 0.4% on a monthly basis from a decline of 0.2% in the prior month. The Conference Board's consumer confidence survey beat consensus estimates in March, rising to 52.5 from an upwardly revised February reading of 46.4.
Traders will look ahead to the calendar for Wednesday, which includes the ADP private sector payrolls at 8:15 AM, the March Chicago PMI, February durable goods orders and factory orders. The ADP private sector payrolls are seen posting a 20k increase in jobs for March compared with a loss of 20k jobs in the previous month and boding positively for Friday's key non-farm payrolls report. The Chicago PMI is expected to dip slightly to 61.6 from 62.6 previously.
Sterling Edges Higher
The British pound climbed higher in Tuesday trading, edging up to 1.5125 against the dollar and trading to a two-month high versus the euro at 0.8871. Benefiting the sterling was a better than expected UK home prices, which saw March nationwide housing prices shoot up by 0.7% on a monthly basis and higher by 9.0% on an annualized basis. The Q4 GDP report was also better than forecast, declining by 3.1% beating calls for a 3.3% on a yearly basis and increasing by 0.4% on a quarterly basis from 0.3% previously.
Cable has relinquished some of its gains to settle around 1.5060, with resistance eyed at 1.51, followed by 1.5140 and 1.5175. Additional gains will emerge around 1.52, backed by 1.5230 and 1.5280. On the downside, support begins at 1.5030, followed by 1.50 and 1.4970. Subsequent floors are eyed at 1.4930, backed by 1.49 and 1.4860.