The U.S. dollar was weak against most of its peers on Tuesday, losing for a second straight day, due to the Federal Reserve’s extensive new measures, including an unlimited expansion of its asset purchases, to support the financial market.
Hopes that the U.S. Congress will eventually agree on a massive relief package worth close to $2 trillion contributed as well to the currency’s weakness.
The dollar index eased to a low of 101.05 early on in the session, but recovered gradually as the session progressed. It was hovering around 101.95 in late afternoon trades, still trailing its previous close by about 0.5%.
Against the euro, the dollar weakened to $1.0784 from previous close of $1.0727.
The pound sterling strengthened to $1.1742, gaining more than 1.7% from Monday’s $1.1543.
Against the Japanese Yen, the dollar was modestly stronger at 111.41 yen, compared to 111.24 on Monday.
The dollar was down sharply against the aussie, with the AUD-USD pair quoting at 0.5943.
Against Swiss franc, the greenback was down at 0.9819, weaker by about 0.29%, while against the loonie, it was down slightly at 1.4487.
Data released by the Commerce Department showed new home sales pulled back sharply in the month of February.
The data said new home sales tumbled by 4.4% to an annual rate of 765,000 in February after spiking by 10.5% to an upwardly revised rate of 800,000 in January.
With the upward revision, the annual rate of new home sales in January was the highest since reaching 842,000 in May of 2007. Economists had expected new home sales to slump by 1.8% to a rate of 750,000 from the 764,000 originally reported for the previous month.