Investing.com - The Japanese yen held slightly weaker against the dollar on Wednesday after a consumer confidence gauge beat expectations, though hit-or-miss U.S. housing figures watered down the greenback''s advance.
USD/JPY traded at 102.29, up 0.02%, in a thin data day in Japan. In Australia, AUD/USD traded at 0.9162, down 0.02%, after remarks by Reserve Bank of Australia Deputy Governor Philip Lowe suggesting that a fully-convertible Chinese yuan could have a profound impact on global capital markets.
Overnigtht, 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.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.03% at 80.12.
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.