Investing.com

Investing.com - The dollar traded mixed to higher against most major currencies on Tuesday after a consumer confidence gauge beat expectations, though hit-or-miss U.S. housing figures watered down the greenback''s advance.



In U.S. trading on Tuesday, EUR/USD was down 0.11% at 1.3825.



In the U.S., strong consumer confidence data bolstered the dollar despite spotty housing indicators.



The Conference Board reported that its consumer confidence index increased to 82.3 this month, the highest since January 2008, from 78.3 in February. Analysts had expected the index to tick up to 78.6.



The report showed that consumers expect the economy to continue improving and believe it may gather momentum in the coming months.



Separately, the Commerce Department said new home sales fell by the most in five months in February, indicating headwinds still face the housing sector.



Sales of new homes fell by 3.3% in February to 440,000 units, the weakest level since last September. Still, analysts were calling for a decline of 4.9%.



January''s sales were revised down to a 455,000-unit pace from the previously reported 468,000-unit rate.



Also on Tuesday, a report on U.S. housing showed that prices rose slightly less than expected in January.



The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index rose 13.2% in January from a year earlier, compared to forecasts for a 13.3% gain.



Meanwhile in Europe, ECB governing council member and Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said that a negative deposit rate may ensure the euro remains in comfort zones.



Weidmann added he couldn''t rule out fresh ECB purchases of loans and other assets to ward off deflation if necessary, indicating a softening of Germany''s stance on monetary stimulus tools.



Separately, ECB Governing Council member Josef Makuch said the bank is prepared to take decisive steps to prop up the economy if necessary, adding that many policy options are available, including adding liquidity.



Elsewhere, the euro came under added pressure after a report showed that the German Ifo business confidence index dropped to 110.7 in March from 111.3 in February, missing analysts'' calls for a 111.0 reading.



The expectations component of the index weakened as concerns over the impact of the Crimea crisis weighed, but the current assessment component continued to improve, rising to the highest level since April 2012.



The dollar was up against the yen, with USD/JPY up 0.06% at 102.31, and down against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF up 0.24% at 0.8829.



The greenback was down against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.19% at 1.6529.



The Office for National Statistics said earlier the annual rate of consumer price inflation slowed to 1.7% in February, in line with expectations, down from 1.9% in January.



January was the first time in more than four years that the U.K. inflation rate fell below the Bank of England’s 2% target.



Consumer prices rose 0.5% in February from a month earlier, in line with estimates.



Separately, the ONS said house prices across Britain rose 6.8% in the 12 months to January, up from 5.5% in December, the largest increase since August 2010, which gave the pound support.



The dollar was down against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD down 0.33% at 1.1156, AUD/USD up 0.36% at 0.9163 and NZD/USD up 0.33% at 0.8574.



The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.03% at 80.10.



On Wednesday in the euro zone, Germany is to release a report on Gfk consumer climate.



The U.S. is to release data on durable goods orders, a leading indicator of production.















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