The US dollar rose against a basket of major currencies, as the yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds retreated from 15-month lows.
Currently, the US dollar index, which shows the relationship of the dollar to a basket of 6 major currencies, is traded with an increase of 0.14%, at 96.70.
However, investors almost ignored the disappointing US data on the housing market and consumer confidence. According to a report published by the US Department of Commerce on Tuesday, the number of new home bookmarks in the US dropped sharply in February after a jump in the previous month. In February, housing construction declined by -8.7% to an annual rate of 1.162 million, after rising by 11.7% to a revised figure of 1.273 million in January. Economists had expected the number of new housing bookmarks to drop to 1.213 million from 1.230 million reported in the previous month. The sharp decline in housing construction occurred due to a 17.0% drop in the number of single-family houses to 805,000, which is the lowest in a year. On the other hand, the number of permits for the construction of houses for several families increased by 17.8% to 357,000 on an annualized basis after a noticeable decrease in the previous month. The Commerce Department also said that the number of building permits fell by -1.6% to an annual rate of 1.296 million in February, after falling by -0.7% to a revised level of 1.1317 million in January. It was expected that the number of building permits would be reduced to 1,300 million. From 1,345 million, which was originally reported in the previous month.
Meanwhile, the US consumer confidence index fell in March after rising in February. The index currently stands at 124.1, compared with 131.4 in February. The current situation index, based on an assessment by consumers of the current business and labor market conditions, fell from 172.8 to 160.6. The expectations index, based on consumer short-term projections for income, business and labor market conditions, declined from 103.8 to 99.8.
The pound went up moderately after the two Euroskeptic legislators said they could agree to support the British Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal from the EU, and not risk the British Parliament canceling Brexit at all. British lawmakers will vote on Wednesday on a number of options, which will give Parliament the opportunity to indicate whether it can negotiate a deal with closer ties with Brussels, and then try to push the government in this direction.