Investing.com - The dollar edged lower against most major currencies on Monday as investors digested last week''s mixed bag of economic indicators, also avoiding the greenback ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve''s April policy meeting minutes on Wednesday.
In U.S. trading on Monday, EUR/USD was up 0.15% at 1.3714.
Investors avoided the dollar on Monday to digest last week''s mixed bag of economic indicators and also due to uncertainty over the language that may appear in the Fed''s policy meeting minutes to be released on Wednesday.
The preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to 81.8 in May from 84.1 in April, confounding market expectations for a 84.5 reading, which softened the dollar.
On the flip side, the Census Bureau reported that U.S. building permits rose 8% to 1.080 million units last month, up from an upwardly revised 1.000 million in March. Analysts were expecting building permits to rise to 1.010 million units in April.
The report also showed that housing starts rose to 1.072 million units in April from 947,000 in March, whose figure was revised up from a previously estimated 946,000.
April''s number far surpassed analysts'' forecasts for a 980,000 reading.
The Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its latest policy meeting on Wednesday, and investors opted for safe-haven yen positions ahead of time, which weakened the dollar and gave the single currency room to rise.
Geopolitical concerns also softened the dollar by stoking concerns the U.S. may become deeper involved in the Ukraine crisis and risk seeing recovery suffer as a result.
Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in the eastern reaches of the country continued to clash on Monday, resulting in the death of one Ukrainian soldier.
Ukraine will hold elections on May 25, and concerns persist that Russia will meddle in the voting and escalate the crisis.
Elsewhere, tensions in Libya flared after gunmen stormed parliament on Sunday in some of the worst violence the country has seen since the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Qaddafi.
The dollar was down against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.18% at 101.34 and down against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF down 0.10% at 0.8918.
The greenback was down against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.06% at 1.6824.
The dollar was up against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD up 0.03% at 1.0867, AUD/USD down 0.36% at 0.9332 and NZD/USD down 0.09% at 0.8626.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.10% at 80.04.
On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Charles Plosser and Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley are to speak.