US dollar declines on downbeat data

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New York, April 20 (IANS) The US dollar decreased against most major currencies on Tuesday as economic data from the country came out weaker then expected.

US privately-owned housing starts in March were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,089,000 units, reported the Commerce Department on Tuesday. The latest reading was below market consensus of 1,167,000 units and also 8.8 percent below the revised February estimate, Xinhua reported.

The Federal Reserve reported on Friday that US industrial production dropped 0.6 percent in March for a second month in a row, below market consensus of a decrease of 0.1 percent.

Analysts said the recent downbeat economic data may keep the Federal Reserve cautious in raising interest rates.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was down 0.56 percent at 93.963 on Tuesday in late trading.

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In late New York trading, the euro rose to $1.1380 from $1.1314 of the previous session, and the British pound climbed to $1.4404 from $1.4285. The Australian dollar went up to $0.7817 from $0.7745.

The dollar bought 109.10 Japanese yen, higher than 108.84 yen of the previous session. The dollar fell to 0.9600 Swiss francs from 0.9644 Swiss francs, and it inched down to 1.2647 Canadian dollars from 1.2809 Canadian dollars.

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