NEW YORK (AP) — Weak U.S. housing data and violent protests in Greece and Spain pushed the dollar higher against most other currencies Wednesday.
The Commerce Department said sales of new homes fell in August to an annual rate of 373,000 from 374,000 in July.
Thousands of people protested austerity measures in Athens. The Greek protests came a day after similar demonstrations in Madrid.
The Spanish government is expected to unveil a 2013 draft budget and economic reforms on Thursday. Spain's central bank warned Wednesday that the country's economy continues to shrink. Many economists believe that Spain will eventually need to ask for financial aid from Europe's bailout fund.
The dollar is considered a haven currency and tends to strengthen during global turmoil.
The euro fell to $1.2859 in late trading Wednesday from $1.2926 late Tuesday. The euro fell as low as $1.2834, its lowest point against the dollar in two weeks.
The British pound fell to $1.6154 from $1.6211.
The dollar rose to 0.9399 Swiss franc from 0.9362 Swiss franc and to 98.46 Canadian cents from 97.98 Canadian cents.
The dollar slipped to 77.72 Japanese yen from 77.77 Japanese yen.