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Dollar rises on strong U.S. economic reports

Updated:2009-08-27 10:16:03

The dollar rose against most major currencies on Wednesday after reports showed that both U.S. new home sales and durable goods orders jumped in July.

Analysts said the trend on currency markets showed that the dollar could now benefit from rising confidence in U.S. economy, instead of falling amid lower safety haven demand.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that new home sales surged 9.6 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000, much stronger than expected. New home sales are now 30 percent higher than its bottom level in January. The estimates for April, May and June were revised up.

New home sales in July were up in the Northeast, South, and West, but down in the Midwest. The number of unsold new homes fell for the 27th consecutive month to 271,000, its lowest level in 16 years. The inventory yardstick -- the months' supply of new homes at current sales rates -- fell from 8.5 to 7.5 months, the lowest since April 2007.

The median time for sale rose 0.6, to 12.4 months, its highest reading ever. It shows that the market for selling new homes is still brutal from a builder's perspective, despite the pickup in demand. The recovery of housing market will be a slow one, and new home sales will remain below normal for at least a couple of years, said analysts of IHS Global Insight.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department said U.S. durable goods order increased by 4.9 percent in July, the fastest pace in two years. Aircraft orders were the key to drive the increase, with orders for no defense aircraft and parts more than doubled. Auto orders also helped with the success of "cash-for-clunkers" program, which provide vouchers to buyers who trade their old vehicles for new ones with better mileage. Without the transportation gains, Durable goods orders were up 0.8 percent in July.

The euro bought 1.4240 dollars in late New York trading compared with 1.4309 dollars it bought late Tuesday. The pound fell to 1.6239 dollars from 1.6350 dollars.

The dollar rose to 1.0984 Canadian dollars from 1.0850 Canadian dollars, and rose to 1.0687 Swiss francs from 1.0611 Swiss francs. It was unchanged at 94.20 Japanese yen.

 

Source:http://news.xinhuanet.com

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