The U.S. dollar strengthened moderately against most major currencies Monday on encouraging U.S. housing data and eased Ukraine- Russia tensions.
U.S. home builder confidence in August rose for a third straight month to the highest level since January. The National Association of Home Builder/Wells Fargo said Monday that the Housing Market Index for August rose two points to 55.
The foreign ministers of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine met in Berlin during the weekend to discuss the Ukraine crisis. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said early Monday that some progress was made in the "difficult" quadrilateral talks.
Meanwhile, the British pound rose the most in a month versus the dollar after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the central bank may raise interest rates before wages increase.
Major data scheduled for release this week include the July consumer price index. An uptick in the inflationary gauge could spark fears among investors for an earlier-than-expected rate hike from the Federal Reserve.
Moreover, global central bankers Thursday will start an annual summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and investors will pay close attention to the speech delivered by Fed Chair Janet Yellen to seek for clues of a rate hike.
In late New York trading, the euro fell to 1.3360 dollars from 1.3397 dollars of the previous session, and the British pound increased to 1.6728 dollars from 1.6697 dollars. The Australian dollar stayed flat at 0.9324 dollars.
The dollar bought 102.58 Japanese yen, higher than 102.35 yen of the previous session. The dollar went up to 0.9064 Swiss francs from 0.9027 Swiss francs, and it moved down to 1.0888 Canadian dollars from 1.0892 Canadian dollars.