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Dollar dips against major currencies
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08:45, July 23, 2009

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The U.S. dollar fell slightly against major currencies on Wednesday as a positive economic report reduced safety demand for the greenback.

U.S. home prices rose by 0.9 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis from April to May, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's monthly House Price Index (HPI). The increase in June was larger than expectations.

"Revisions and volatility of the monthly index make it hard to draw any conclusions, but the seasonally-adjusted HPI for the first five months of this year is up 0.3 percent or 0.7 percent on an annualized basis," said FHFA Director James Lockhart.

U.S. mortgage applications index rose by 2.8 percent last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported. It was the third consecutive week that the index rose, while the applications remain on low levels.

Home affordability has vastly improved with lower mortgage rates and home prices. But high unemployment rate still keeps many potential buyers out of the market, analysts said.

U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told a Senate panel on Wednesday that the economic recovery depends primarily on the evolution of the labor market and consumer spending. On the economy, high unemployment is "the most pressing issue" as the nation struggles to emerge from recession, Bernanke said. The remarks were in line with his testimony to Congress on Tuesday, preventing the dollar from falling further.

Profit reports released by major U.S. companies on Wednesday are mixed. Apple, Boeing and Starbucks posted strong quarterly results, while reports of AMD, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley were disappointing.

The euro bought 1.4228 dollars in late New York trading compared with 1.4195 dollars it bought late Tuesday. The pound rose to 1.6464 dollars from 1.6432 dollars.

The dollar fell to 1.0989 Canadian dollars from 1.1073 Canadian dollars, and fell to 1.0651 Swiss francs from 1.0682 Swiss francs. It fell slightly to 93.59 Japanese yen from 93.63 Japanese yen.

Source:Xinhua



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