Investing.com

Investing.com - The Australian dollar eased on Tuesday in early Asian trade with markets in Japan shut and much of the region on the sidelines ahead of the May 1 holiday.



AUD/USD traded at 0.9255, down 0.01%, in subdued activity.



In the only major regional data on Tuesday, NZD/USD traded at 0.8530, up 0.01%, after the March trade surplus came in at NZ$920 million month-on-month, compared to an expectation of NZ$937 million



Japanese markets are closed today to mark Showa Day and the start to the Golden Week period, which sees a number of holidays being observed within a span of a week, and resulting in closures among many businesses and factories in Japan.



Overnight, the dollar gave back gains and traded mixed to lower against most major currencies after investors applauded robust housing data and later jumped to the sidelines to prep for Friday''s April jobs report.



The dollar firmed after the National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales jumped 3.4% in March, far surpassing expectations for a 1% gain.



Pending home sales for February were revised to a 0.5% drop from a previously reported decline of 0.8%.



On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales were still down 7.9% in March, though the data firmed the dollar by reminding investors that the Federal Reserve will continue tapering monthly asset purchases as the year unfolds.



Profit taking nudged the greenback down later in the session, as investors jumped to the sidelines to prepare for Friday''s April jobs report.



The euro, meanwhile, saw support from expectations that euro zone inflation data due out on Wednesday will reveal an uptick in consumer prices.



An increase in the euro zone’s consumer price index would ease pressure on the European Central Bank to implement additional monetary policy measures.



In March, the euro zone''s annual inflation rate slowed to 0.5%, the lowest since November 2009. The ECB targets an inflation rate of close to but just under 2%.The consensus forecast is for the inflation rate to rise to 0.8%.



The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.01% at 79.78.



On Tuesday, the U.S. is to a report compiled by the Conference Board on consumer confidence.



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