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Dollar Up Slightly Following Consumer Confidence Report


The dollar is up slightly against both the Euro and the Japanese Yen on Tuesday, following the release of the U.S. consumer confidence data. The lower than expected result caused a downturn in stock markets in Europe and the U.S. The dollar has strengthened slightly this afternoon as the risk appetite of investors has decreased.

Dovish comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sparked a rally in stock markets across the globe on Monday. While speaking at the National Association for Business Economics Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., Bernanke assured that the Fed's zero-interest rate policy and other support measures will help reduce unemployment over time by promoting economic growth.

The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index fell to 70.2 in March from an upwardly revised 71.6 in February. Economists had expected the index to edge up to 70.9 from the 70.8 originally reported for the previous month. The unexpected pullback by the consumer confidence index came after it reached its highest level since coming in at 72.0 in February of 2011 in the previous month.

The dollar has reached $1.3316 versus the Euro today, after rebounding from nearly a one-month low of $1.3367.

Germany's consumer confidence is set to drop in April as fuel price increases weighed on income expectations, while the easing debt crisis boosted consumers' economic expectations. The forward-looking consumer sentiment index came in at 5.9 for April, down slightly from a 12-month high of 6 points in March, a survey by market research group GfK showed Tuesday. Economists had expected the score to remain stable at 6 points.

French consumer confidence increased markedly in March, after holding steady in the previous month, data released by statistical office Insee showed Tuesday. The consumer confidence index increased to 87 in March from 82 in February, which matched the reading for January. Economists expected the index to remain unchanged.

The greenback has continued to hover around $1.5965 versus the pound sterling on Tuesday. The currency has recovered slightly from a 4-month low of $1.60.

The buck has improved slightly against the Yen Tuesday, reaching Y83.374, its highest level since March 22.

Home prices in major U.S. metropolitan areas showed a continued decrease in the month of January, according to a report released by Standard & Poor's on Tuesday, with prices falling in line with economist estimates. The report showed that the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index fell by an annual rate of 3.8 percent in January compared to a 4.1 percent year-over-year drop in December. The annual drop matched the expectations of economists.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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