Euro near eight-month high v Australian dollar

Euro near eight-month high v Australian dollar

The US dollar index is down by 0.4% at 98.46 as of 7:48 a.m. ET.

A weak manufacturing report from the New York Federal Reserve on Monday also trimmed expectations of a Federal Reserve rate increase next month, weighing on the currency. Recently improved economic data from the euro area has fueled speculation that the central bank may signal a shift in monetary policy as early as its June meeting.

The dollar gave up all its gains since the election of President Trump, undermined by uncertainty surrounding the legislative agenda amid political turmoil that also prompted a steep fall in USA stocks and Treasury yields.

In a separate report on Tuesday, the Commerce Department said housing starts dropped 2.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units, the lowest level in five months and below expectations for a 3.7% rise.

Commodity currencies took a knock from today's risk-off mood, with the Australian dollar sliding back below the 0.74 level against the greenback, while the loonie weakened to 1.3613 per United States dollar.

The Japanese yen -which often draws haven demand when geopolitical worries flare up-was gaining in particular against the dollar.

Oil prices were little changed as traders awaited weekly US inventory data and after Kuwait joined top producers Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation in support of prolonging supply cuts through March 2018 to reduce a global crude glut.

Lenovo unveils ultra-affordable Moto C, Moto C Plus smartphones
It is quite possible that the Moto X 2017 may come in different variants where a 16 GB variant will be a basic model. There are actually three models here: a 3G-only Moto C, a 4G-capable Moto C, and the Moto C Plus.

The yen rose to 0.7 percent to 112.26 yen per dollar, its highest level since May 5, while the Swiss franc rose to 0.9820 francs per dollar, its highest since March 27.

Analysts said the furore around Trump has raised fears that he might not last a whole term and that, even if he did, there were too many distractions for him to be able to push through his economic stimulus programme. The Aussie stood at $0.7425, off a more than one-week high of $0.7446 touched on Monday.

Elsewhere, a mixed bout of economic data weighed on the greenback after USA housing data fell short of expectations, while industrial production expanded at the fastest pace in more than three years.

UK's benchmark FTSE 100 closed up by 0.9 percent, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 ended the day up by 0.08 percent, Germany's Dax ended flat, France's CAC finished the day down by 0.2 percent. Major U.S. stock indexes remain at or near record highs, supported by the strongest earnings season for S&P 500 components since 2011.

"We are approaching a short-term resistance as the breadth of this rise is very unhealthy and the market momentum looks exhausted", said Alex Wong, a fund manager at Ample Capital Ltd in Hong Kong, with about $130 million under management.

Brent futures fell 2 cents to $51.80 a barrel as of 1:54 p.m. EDT (1754 GMT). USA light crude also gained 20 cents at $49.05 a barrel. At the same time, the dollar is weaker against the euro due to concern with President Trump's performance.

Spot gold was up 0.6 percent at $1,237.85 an ounce by 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT), after rising to $1,239.10, the highest since May 4.US gold futures settled up 0.5 percent at $1,236.40.

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