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Dollar falls after disappointing US economic data

April 24, 2012
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NEW YORK—The dollar fell against most other major currencies Tuesday after U.S. consumer confidence slipped in April and home prices fell in February. Traders also bought the euro following strong demand at an auction for Spanish government debt.

The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index was at 69.2 in April, down from 69.5 in March. Economists were expecting an increase to 70.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home-price index shows that home prices fell in February from January in 16 of the 20 cities it tracks. A sign that the housing market is still struggling to recover.

The euro rose to $1.3189 in afternoon trading Tuesday, up from $1.3144 late Monday.

The dollar rose against the euro on Monday as worries about Europe's debt crisis intensified. Those fears eased Tuesday after Spain was able to sell a better-than-expected $2.6 billion in debt. The country's benchmark interest rate slipped below 6 percent Tuesday, a sign that investors are less worried about the Spain's finances.

On Wednesday, traders will be closely monitoring the Federal Reserve statement after its two-day policy meeting ends. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will also hold a press conference Wednesday afternoon. Economists don't expect the Fed to make any changes to its policy, but traders are looking to see if the Fed hints as to whether it may need to take further steps to boost the economy.

In other trading, the British pound rose $1.6131 from $1.6125. The dollar fell to 0.9110 Swiss franc from 0.9144 Swiss franc and to 98.87 Canadian cents from 99.20 Canadian cents.

The dollar rose to 81.26 Japanese yen from 81.16 yen.

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