Investing.com – The dollar traded largely lower against most major currencies on Monday after a disappointing regional U.S. factory data sparked concerns that Thursday’s widely-watched jobs report may come in sluggish and sway monetary authorities to leave interest rates low for longer than once thought.
In U.S. trading on Monday, EUR/USD was up 0.32% at 1.3694.
Soft regional manufacturing data offset upbeat housing data and prompted investors to avoid the greenback on Monday.
The National Association of Realtors reported earlier that pending home sales jumped 6.1% in May from April, far surpassing market calls for a 1.5% reading.
Still, the dollar slipped after industry data released earlier revealed that the Chicago purchasing managers’ index declined to 62.6 this month from 65.5 in May, missing expectations for a 63.0 reading.
Investors were turning their attention to the U.S. June nonfarm payrolls report, which will release a day early on Thursday due to the Independence Day holiday on Friday, avoiding the dollar during the trading session ahead of time.
Markets were eager for the release of a key manufacturing gauge on Tuesday as well.
Meanwhile in Europe, the euro saw support after preliminary data revealed that the euro zone’s annual inflation rate remained unchanged at 0.5% in June, easing pressure on the European Central Bank to announce fresh monetary easing measures.
It was the ninth consecutive month in which the inflation rate was below 1%. The ECB targets an inflation rate of close to but just under 2.0%.
The core inflation rate ticked up to 0.8% from 0.7% in May.
The ECB announced a package of measure aimed at staving off the threat of deflation on June 5, including cutting rates to record lows and imposing negative rates on lenders to encourage lending to consumers.
The dollar was down against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.10% at 101.32, and down against the Swiss franc, with USD/CHF down 0.44% at 0.8868.
The greenback was down against the pound, with GBP/USD up 0.45% at 1.7113.
The pound, meanwhile, continued to see support after Friday data confirmed that the U.K. economy expanded by 0.8% in the first three months of 2014. The economy grew at an annual rate of 3.0% in the first quarter, the fastest since 2007.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has indicated that rates were unlikely to return to their pre-crisis levels of 5%, but instead could be expected to rise to around 2.5% by the first quarter of 2017.
The BoE announced a new affordability test on banks and a cap on home loans on Thursday, in a bid to prevent the housing market from destabilizing the U.K. economy.
Demand for sterling continued to be underpinned as the new measures did little to alter expectations that the BoE will raise interest rates ahead of other central banks.
The dollar was mixed against its cousins in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with USD/CAD up 0.02% at 1.0665, AUD/USD up 0.06% at 0.9429 and NZD/USD down 0.26% at 0.8755.
In Canada, data released earlier earlier Monday revealed that the Canadian economy expanded by 0.1% in April, missing forecasts for a 0.2% increase.
The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was down 0.32% at 79.82.
On Tuesday, the dollar should move on the Institute of Supply Management’s report on U.S. U.S. manufacturing activity.
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