Dollar falls ahead of rate meetings in Europe (AP)
NEW YORK – The dollar slid against major currencies in late trading Tuesday ahead of several interest rate decisions this week in Europe, and as markets got upbeat news on U.S. housing but saw mixed earnings results.
The 16-nation euro rose to $1.3007 in late New York trading from $1.2827 late Monday. The British pound rose to $1.4421 from $1.4269, while the dollar slipped to 89.26 Japanese yen from 89.60 yen.
The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday buyers stepped in to snap up properties at steep discounts in December, especially in the South and Midwest. Its seasonally adjusted index of pending sales for preowned homes rose 6.3 percent to 87.7 in the final month of the year from an upwardly revised November reading of 82.5.
The drugmakers Merck & Co. and Schering-Plough Corp. topped earnings estimates, while the homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc. reported a loss for its latest quarter that was narrower than analysts anticipated. Meanwhile, cell phone maker Motorola Inc. said it lost $3.6 billion and PNC Financial Services Group Inc., one of the nation's largest banks, said it swung to a loss.
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet has indicated the bank will likely hold rates steady at 2 percent at Thursday's meeting, while the Bank of England is expected to chop rates by as much as 1 percentage point.
Lower interest rates often drive investors from a currency as they move funds where they earn better returns.
In other trading, the dollar dropped to 1.1446 Swiss francs from 1.1630, and fell to 1.2347 Canadian dollars from 1.2449.
It has been and will be bouncing up and mostly down like a yo-yo. Why would they even bother with this story? Couldn't find anything else to fill the empty spot on the page?