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Dollar Little Changed Ahead Of Powell Testimony


The dollar is turning in a mixed performance against its major rivals Monday afternoon, but remains little changed overall. Traders are in a cautious mood ahead of Jerome Powell's testimony before Congress tomorrow. It will be his first semi-annual monetary policy report since taking over as the new Federal Reserve Chair.

It was a rather light day on the U.S. economic front Monday, but things will pick up over the next few days. Durable goods orders and consumer confidence data are slated for Tuesday, while GDP will follow on Wednesday.

New home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly showed a steep drop in the month of January, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Monday. The report said new home sales plunged by 7.8 percent to an annual rate of 593,000 in January after slumping by 7.6 percent to an upwardly revised 643,000 in December.

The continued decrease surprised economists, who had expected new home sales to jump by 3.2 percent to a rate of 645,000 from the 625,000 originally reported for the previous month.

The dollar dropped to an early low of $1.2353 against the Euro Monday, but has since rebounded to around $1.23.

The buck fell to a low of $1.4069 against the pound sterling Monday, but has since bounced back to around $1.3965.

UK mortgage approvals rose to a 3-month high in January, data from UK Finance showed Monday. The number of mortgages approved in January increased to 40,117 in January from 36,085 in December. This was the highest since last October.

The greenback dipped to a low of Y106.374 Monday morning, but has since climbed to around Y106.975.

Japan's leading index declined more than initially estimated in December, latest figures from the Cabinet Office showed Monday. The leading index, which measures the future economic activity, dropped to a 5-month low of 107.4 in December from 108.2 in November. The reading was below the flash estimate of 107.9.

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