The dollar edged lower against major currencies on Tuesday, as the release of disappointing U.S. housing sector data caused investors to worry over the strength of the economy, weakening demand for the greenback.
According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, building permits dropped 7.7% last month to 1.086 million units, after a 2.2% decline in February to 1.177 million units. Analysts were projecting building permits to go up to 1.200 million units in March.
U.S. housing starts declined by 8.8% last month to 1.089 million units after growing by 6.9% to 1.194 million units in February, after it was revised from a previous estimate of 1.178 million units.
Housing starts were projected to hit 1.170 million units in March.
USD/JPY rose 0.48% to 109.25.
The yen came edged lower after Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso said that rapid currency moves are unwelcome. He adds that he will be taking “various measures” against excessive currency moves.
EUR/USD grew 0.30% to trade higher at 1.1347.
Meanwhile, the greenback was lower against the pound, with GBP/USD rising 0.73% at 1.4380.
USD/CHF slumped 0.22% to trade lower at 0.9620.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars were higher, with AUD/USD tacking on 0.66% at 0.7799 and with NZD/USD adding 1.25% to 0.7035.
Elsewhere, USD/CAD was weaker, falling 0.56% to 1.2713.
Commodity-hinged currencies gained as oil prices moved bounced higher on Tuesday after oil workers in Kuwait went on strike cutting the country’s crude production by half.
Oil prices plunged the previous day after the producers’s meeting in Doha, Qatar on Sunday ended in a stalemate.
The U.S. dollar index shed 0.31% at 94.17, the lowest since Wednesday last week.