Dollar edges up on housing, confidence data

AP News
Posted: Dec 29, 2009 4:17 PM

The dollar edged up against other currencies in light trading Tuesday after reports on U.S. home prices and consumer confidence, as expected, showed slight improvement.

The 16-nation euro slipped to $1.4351 in late New York trading from $1.4384 late Monday. The British pound fell to $1.5903 from $1.6003, while the dollar nudged up to 91.96 Japanese yen from 91.59 yen.

The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence rose to 52.9 in December from 49.5 in November. That was slightly better than the reading of 52 economists had forecast, but still a long way from what is considered healthy. A reading of 90 or more signals a solid economy.

Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller's home price index rose for a fifth straight month in October.

Also Tuesday, the Mannheim, Germany-based ZEW economic institute predicted the exchange rate between the euro and the dollar would remain largely stable throughout 2010, at a predicted rate of $1.47.

The dollar was battered throughout 2009 by a string of bad U.S. economic data as the economy struggled to emerge from a deep recession triggered by the global financial meltdown.

In other late trading, the dollar rose to 1.0434 Canadian dollars from 1.0429 late Monday, and edged up to 1.0370 Swiss francs from 1.0350 francs.