Dollar Losing Ground After Mixed Economic Reports

dpa-AFX International Compact |

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - The dollar is weakening against its major rivals Monday afternoon, following the release of a mixed bag of U.S. economic data. There was an unusually large number of reports this morning, with only retail sales for March coming in better than anticipated.

With auto sales rebounding strongly, the Commerce Department released a report on Monday showing retail sales in the U.S. increased by more than anticipated in the month of March. The report said retail sales climbed by 0.6 percent in March after edging down by 0.1 percent in February. Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.4 percent.

A report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Monday showed a notably slower pace of growth in New York manufacturing activity in the month of April.

The New York Fed said its general business conditions index fell to 15.8 in April from 22.5 in March, although a positive reading still indicates growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to drop to 18.6.

Likely reflecting winter weather effects, the National Association of Home Builders released a report on Monday unexpectedly showing a modest drop in U.S. homebuilder confidence in the month of April. The report said the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index edged down to 69 in April from 70 in March. Economists had expected the index to come in unchanged.

A report released by the Commerce Department on Monday showed business inventories in the U.S. increased in line with expectations in the month of February. The Commerce Department said business inventories climbed by 0.6 percent in February, matching the increase seen in January as well as economist estimates.

The dollar has dropped to around $1.2380 against the Euro Monday afternoon, from an early high of $1.2323.

Germany's wholesale prices increased at a steady pace in March, Destatis reported Monday. Wholesale prices grew 1.2 percent year-on-year in March, the same pace of increase as seen in February.

The buck has fallen to a 2 1/2 month low of $1.4325 against the pound sterling this afternoon, from a high of $1.4235 this morning.

The average asking price of a house in the United Kingdom was up 0.4 percent on month in April, property tracking website Rightmove said on Monday - coming in at a record 305,732 pounds. That follows the 1.5 percent spike in March, and it beats the old mark of 304,943 set in .

The Japan government maintained its economic view on Monday, saying the economy is recovering at a moderate pace.

The cabinet office said both private consumption and exports are picking up, unchanged from March assessment.

Further, the government noted that business investment and industrial production are increasing moderately.

The greenback rose to an early high of Y107.605 against the Japanese Yen Monday, but has since retreated to around Y107.060.

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