The dollar remained broadly lower against the other major currencies on Tuesday, after the release of mixed U.S. data fuelled further uncertainty over the timing of a U.S. rate hike.
1. The dollar was lower against the euro, with EUR/USD easing up 0.09% to 1.1337.
2. The U.S. Commerce Department said that housing starts rose 6.5% to 1.206 million units last month from August’s total of 1.132 million units. Analysts had expected a figure of 1.140 million.
3. The report also showed that the number of building permits issued dropped by 5.0% to 1.103 million units from August’s total of 1.170 million. Analysts expected building permits to fall by 0.9% to 1.164 million units in July.
4. Meanwhile, the single currency strengthened as investors looked ahead to a European Central Bank meeting later in the week amid speculation that it could flag plans to enlarge its stimulus program.
5. The dollar moved higher against the yen, with USD/JPY rising 0.31% to 119.86.
6. Elsewhere, the dollar was steady against the pound, with GBP/USD at 1.5463 and lower against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF shedding 0.22% to 0.9546.
7. In Switzerland, data earlier showed that the trade surplus widened to 3.047 billion Swiss francs in September from a downwardly revised 2.862 billion Swiss francs the previous month. Analysts had expected the trade surplus to narrow to 2.510 billion Swiss francs last month.
8. The Australian dollar remained stronger, with AUD/USD gaining 0.34% to 0.7270, while NZD/USD dropped 0.55% to 0.6754.
9. Earlier Tuesday, in the minutes of its October policy meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia said the Aussie’s depreciation and low interest rates have helped the local economy rebalance.
10. The comments staved off any expectations for a rate hike by the RBA in the near future.
11. Meanwhile, USD/CAD dropped 0.56% to trade at 1.2942.
12. Data on Tuesday showed that Canada’s wholesale sales slipped 0.1% in August, compared to expectations for a 0.2% rise and after a 0.1% downtick the previous month.
13. Canada elected its first Liberal government in almost a decade late Monday, sparking uncertainty over the economic outlook.
14. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.12% at 94.89..